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Full text of "Winora [microform] : and other stories"

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lii 



Cmadlwi InMiluM for Hhtorieal MieraraproduethMn / Imlttut Canadian da mierorapreduetlona Matofiquaa 




1995 



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WINONA 

AND OTHER STORIES 



BY 



WILLIAM J. FISCHER 

AMkw of " Smo br lb* Vayaidt " 



WITH AN IWTl^HlCflON BY 

J. E. COPLi .. S. J. 



^m 



ST.LOUIS.MO..,JFMr«»jj /i,^_, 
PUBLISHED BY B. HBk *» 



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!3034 



HV"^ 



To my dnr mother and/athtr, whet* 
strong, abuling love I count the iweet- 
tit thing on earth, I graUfuUy dedi- 
eate this Utile booh oj tales in the hope 
that it may bring bach precious mem- 
ories of that Childhood— Kingdom, 
whose doors have closed upon me forever. 
THE AUTHOR. 



Waterloo, Canada, 
Easter 1906. 



CONTENTS 

t'live 

Winona 7 

The Professor's Secret 87 

One Easter at Highmore 70 

Shadow and Sunshine 105 

For Love's Own Sake 113 

A Voice in the Night-Wiuds .... 147 

Light Beyond the Stars 161 

The Parting of the Ways 191 



SAID BEFOREHAND. 

The author of these eight delightiul tales is 
not unknown to readers of Catholic magazines 
and newspapers in Canada and the United States. 
William J. Fischer, physician, poet, discrimi- 
nating biographical sketcher, and clever prose 
story writer, here presents his first book of short 
stories to the publ ic. The little work is destined 
to be as popular with old and young as his book 
of poems: "Songs by the Wayside. " 

While a profound lover of nature, and living 
close to it, as shown in these pages, Dr. Fischer 
takes life seriously — as all physicians, whether 
of soul or body, must necessarily do— and yet 
one cannot fail to discover between the lines of 
these pretty stories a glowingly warm heart 
which loves humanity. I have read these stor- 
ies more than once, and there is much that is 
worth remembering in them. 

In reading "Winona, and Other Stories " 
the critical reader will, I think, be satisfied with 
the literary style, which has an individuality 
about it not unpleasing. 

As might be expected from the pen of a 
physician-author, several of the stories deal 
(5) 



6 



INTRODUCTION. 



with pain and sickness, but, after all, there is no 
finer field than the sick bed, and its surroundings 
for the display of those qualities which most en- 
noble oui mature. 

Book: ^f short stories were never as popular 
as at the picsent time, and unless one is greatly 
mistaken, this little volume, written during 
moments of spare leisure in a very busy life, will 
find many friends, and its author will increase 
the number of those he already possesses. 

J. E. COPDS, S. J. 

Easter 1906, 

Creighton University, 

Omaha, Nebraska. 



WINONA. 



Chapter I. 

Sheltered by a number of large pine trees, in 
the very heart of Notre Dame de Larette— the 
thickly populated home of the Hurons— stood 
the lodge of the humble Jesuit missionary. On 
all sides, as far as eye could reach, were rows and 
rows of wigwams, the homes of these thrifty 
children of the wilderness and, through the light 
and dark green tints of the maple, spruce and 
pine, one caught glimpses of crimson on the 
blue sky, that told too soon that another day was 
nearing its end. 

Good Pere Menard, the gentle Blackrobe, who 
had labored for twenty years among the Huron 
tribe, had reasons to congratulate himself, for 
had he not founded this very village and had he 
not also carried the faith to these deserving creat- 
ures? It was a desperate struggle at first. Tso- 
hahissen, the brawny, old, copper-faced chief, 
would not listen to the gentle tales of a Redeem- 
er who had suffered the agonies of Calvary's re- 
demption, but Father Menard was determined 
and, in his mind, treasured visions of a distant, 
(7) 



8 



WINONA. 



glorious day that was to bring him the laurel 
wreath of victory. 

That day did come, and, when Tsohahissen 
bowed his head and was baptized, it was not long 
before the Whole tribe came with him. The great 
mountain had crumbled to atoms, the big chief 
was a follower of Christ and now the way was 
clear and, far beyond, basking in the sunshine 
of God's smile, lay the wide, open fields that the 
Blackrobe was to explore. The soil was good, 
the reaper was experienced and in time there was 
to be a golden harvest of souls. 

Every day, in the twilight hours— those dWic- 
ious moments so silent and sacred — one could see, 
there in the open air, a picture that the skilled,' 
artistic fingers of mortal man could never do just- 
ice to. ThSre sitting on the grass, silently list- 
ening, were the upturned faces of hundreds of 
red children, their hearts swaying under the 
clear, ringing words of the cassocked priest, as 
ir soft, musical voice, with crucifix in hand, he 
pictured the drama of the Crucifixion. And as 
he stood there, in his pulpit, upon the bared 
stump of i.n old oak free that had fallen a prey 
to Canadian winds and storms, tears would steal 
out of his eyes, while a few stray sunbeams from 
the west brightened his beautiful face— a face 
that had the freshness of spring in it though it 



WINONA. 9 

was crowned by the white of a premature winter. 
"I am so glad," he would often say, "that 
God pointed my way out so clearly. Even when 
I was but a child, mastering the Latin elements, 
I dreamed dreams which have since come true. 
Later, I saw the hand of God directing my foot- 
steps to this western hemisphere— this land 
where one sees nature, in all her glory, unshom 
of her many beauties, unmolested, gldTious, real, 
a veritable garden of Eden, wherein millions of 
birds pour forth daily their souls in music, doing 
glory to their Creator. ' ' Often his thoughts un- 
locked the heart of nature and he stole into that 
holy of holies to hold sweet converse with her. 
He loved the glorious forest, the sun and moon 
and stars, the rivers and lakes that shone in the 
starlight, the flowers that turned their faces to 
the sun and the birds that madrigaled unceas- 
ingly. His was a Wordsworthian love almost. 
To him the earth itself was a grand poem. He 
studied it carefully and it brought him nearer to 
that other land above, where golden fields lay 
ba-'ing in eternal sunshines. Often he would 



"When I shall go to sleep and wake again 
At dawning in another world than this — 
What will atone to me for all I miss? 
The light, melodious footsteps of the rain, 
The press of leaves against the window pane. 



10 



WINONA. 



The sunset wistfulness and morning bliss, 
The moon's enchantment and the twilight kiss 
Of winds, that wander with me through the lane. 
Will not my soul remember evennore 
The eartHy winter's hunger for the spring, 
The wet, sweet cheek of April, and the rush 
Of roses through the summer's open door. 
The feelings that the scented woodlands bring 
At evening, with the singing of the thrush. " 

Father M«!nard was a descendant of a noble 
family closely connected with French royalty. 
Parts, by the Seine, had often sung the praises 
of his ancestors. The death of his parents^ left 
himself and an only brother, Gabrielle, orphans 
at a period in life when children realize too fully 
what it means to be without father or mother. 
But the two found a good friend and mother in 
the Countess Boulanger. "Be good to these two 
boys, for my sake, Fanchon, and God will re- 
ward you!" were the dying mother's last words 
as she pressed the noble. French lady's hand. 
The two women had been friends through life 
and Fanchon Boulanger, Countess and possessor 
of millions in this worid's goods, took the or- 
phans into her heart and from that day on was a 
mother to them in every sense. 

The day Father Menard left Paris, Gabrielle 
was exactly eighteen years old and was pursuing 
the study of the sciences and the languages at 



WINONA. 



11 



the University. The former, having ^duated 
in medicine a number of yeara before, and find- 
ing the practice of his profession distasteful, enter- 
ed the Jesuit novitiate and was ordained when he 
was about thirty, leaving the next day with a 
band of missionaries to do God's work in the 
western hemisphere. And now twenty yea» had 
passed since that day, and how he longed to clasp 
his brother to his heart! 

' ' Not yet! not yet! " he murmured, one evening 
as he rose from a bench and closed the rude 
wooden door of his lodge and made for the open 
space, where the Indians were wont to gather at 
sundown. "Not yet— not yet! When my work 
is done and the shadows are creeping about me 
tis then I will return to thee, my beloved Franc^ 
—to rest and to die in peace in thy outstretched 
arms." 

Th«a:r was sultry and heavy with the perfume 
honeysuckle, as the good priest walked along 
the well-beaten pathway. Theground was parch- 
ed and dry. It had not rained for weeks and 
the fields of corn were burning up in the heat 
Not a breeze stirred the leaves overhead. The 
grass was turning red, the trees and flowers were 
wilting— the very tongue of Nature was parched 
an(i hotand longed for the cooling show, rs, that 
G a alone could give. As the earnest Blackrobe 
;rew nearer he at once noticed that the Indians 



u 



WINONA. 



gathered in groups, where discussing some vital 
issue. Their voices smote the air with their hiss 
ing sounds. Thewhole village wasin an uproar, 
i^ud. shnll cries rang out everywhere; men 
agitated, threw their arms into the air; women 
distracted with excitement, sang minor strains, 
clear-cut and vigorous, and the monotony of 
many drums, clappers and rattles filled in the 
strange medley, that was intensely weird and 
gruesome. 

Father Menard halted a few minutes, his gaze 
intently fixed on the swaying multitude in .front 
of him. Suddenly his eyes fell upon Tsohahiss- 
en The old chief was carrying a large pole, 
nchly painted, on his swarthy shoulders and his 
band were following in the rear with dance and 
song. The missionary knew what was coming 
and in his heart felt something that was akin 
to pain. He sighed deeply and whispered 
thoughtfully: "My poor children! God pity 
themi They are preparing for their rain-dance 
and there will be great excitement in the village 
shortly. Poor TsohahissenI he is not himself 
at all this evening. •• Then, with a quick turn, 
he was off. and in his heart he wondered if he 
could prevent them from carrying oat this fool- 
ish dance. Since his coming among them they 
had abandoned many former customs, and the 
last timeTsohahissen stood ready for the dance 



WJNONA. 



18 



about two years ago, Father Menard's words 
worked almost magically; the Indians at once 
had left their respective places and rallied around 
him and the dance did not go on. 

Tsohahissen saw the Blackrobe coming down 
the pathway and ran out to meet him. When 
they met, the old chief was breathless and cow- 
ered at the priest's feet and kissed the hem of 
h.s cassock. Then he rose and. laying his strong 
hand on the priest's arm, motioned to the scene 
m front of him and exclaimed in a voice hoarse 
from yelling: "Ahl my father! See, thy children 
wait thy coming with joy. The rivers, the fields, 
the trees-everything around cries for rain. 
The flowers in the forest are sad and hang their 
heads and, when the grass turns red in the sun 
everything dies. So big chief will start rain- 
dance to-night, before the moon comes out, and 
braves will follow his example and the Blackrobe 
will give his blessing. " 

The Indian chief seemed nervous, as he ran his 
brown, wrinkled fingers through a chain of buf- 
falo teeth that hung around his neck, and, when 
his old dark face was full npon^e sweet-faced 
pnest, his eyes fairly shone like two balls of fire. 
Father Menard was silent for a moment. Then 
he put his hand on the old man's stooped should- 
ers and said lovingly: "Much better would it 
be, my son, if you and your children were to get 



14 



WINONA. 



down on your kneea with me this evening and aek 
God, your Father in heaven, to give you rain." 
Tsohahissen raiaed himself proudly; the eagle- 
featherson his head shook slighUy and there was 
a dissatisfied look in his wild eyes. The priest 
noticed it and he knew the virulence of Tsohahis- 
sen's anger, for. good as the latter was, it almost 
tore his heart ^n two to see the old traditions and 
customs of his Huron forefathem thrown aside so 
carelessly. Father Menard knew all this und as 
he looked up at the man before him— a towering 
oak among the beeches and saplings— he noticed 
that the old chief's eyes were full of tears. 

"Hear you not the big river yonder calling for 
water, O my father?' ' the old man exclaimed with 
emotion. "He is calling me. The leaves of the 
trees are also speaking and the lonely cry of the 
woodchuck haunts me in my sleep. I fear they 
are dying and I must hurry. The birds of the 
air are leaving us and the moose and deer are 
lean and holloV-eyed. And O, my Indians, my 
family— they are starving now— the river is dry- 
ing up and I see nothing but dead men's bones. 
Come, my father! Come with mel I will take 
the Blackrobe to his poor children." 

And, arm in arm, the priest and chief walked 
off together and, as Tsohahissen led him forward, 
cheer followed cheer, and cries, shrieks, war- 



WINONA. 



16 



nd 

ae 

le 

the 



whoops came in rwiit succession, until the whole 
forest trembled am' shook as with fear. 

The great ceremos y at last began. Th 
pole, about eight feet high, with iiav« 
eagle-feathers on top. was in its plac. 
Tsohahissen stood adminng the red ri- 
had painted on it. He. himself, had also 
the paint from a red stone, which he found 
shallow river. The women never took jwrtTn 
the dance— ihe chief always said that the,r faces 
would scare the rain away-but they were always 
present and brought cakes and hominy for the 
men to eat. The men had now formed large cir 
cles around the pole and Tsohahissen ; the fi^ 
thpt had been already prepared and. wken it w.^ 
b.azing away briskly, threw on tobacco lea^ e 
dntil heavy clouds of smoke filled the i.ir 
Then he raised his proud head and, as the smok* 
rose skyward, extended his bared irms plead 
ingly tothe heavens and cried in a high, strange 
hysterical voice: "Rawen Niyoh! I want you 
to take care of the Indians, your own peoplel 
My family is here in the wide, open forest. I 
want rain! Things, won't grow— the earth is too 
dry. Everything is homing up in the heat. 
Nothing grows and my children are starving 
Hear you not their cries of despair, you big 
mighty. Great Spirit? We must have com, m 



16 



WINONA. 



here ia itoine tobacco for you that you may know 
we are here and want rain— rain — rain I" 

Nearby knelt Father Menard , crucifix in hand, 
deeply absorbed in prayer. 

In a moment, the red chief made for the pain- 
ted pole and, bowing down low before it, the 
dance began. The men swayed around wildly 
and halted and faced the east, then the north, 
and then the west, as they sang six songs (or 
rain. The songs were all in a minor key and 
fairly glowed with an intensity of feeling that 
-ould not but inspire the heart of every brave. 
The tempo was quick and delightlul and the 
parting words of the song were lost in louu tones 
of frenzy and delirium. 

The priect was too much absorbed in his pray- 
ers to notice the dramatic attirades of the parti- 
cipants in the dance. Suddenly, he felt .. light 
touch on his shoulder. Turning, very much 
frightened, he saw the form of an Indian lying 
in the grass behind him, like a panther ready to 
spring up at the slightest provocation. He rose 
and faced the strange intruder in the high grass, 
as the latter raised himself on his hands and 
knees and whispered: "They must not see me 
over there. I have Iroquois blood— they have 
Huron b'ood. They do not mix well. We hate 
—we hate each other. I am the servant of 
Geronimo — big, fine, Iroquois chief, who has 



WINONA. 



17 



camped with his braves thirf„ ».!i , 
He call, me F.yin/Sg/e 'Kc""^»/">«> "';«• 
and strong. Two d«v. il '" '''''^'' 

n.arch hefe and JurnT,?; Hurr",?""^ '"^ 
Winona, chief, onlv t^»A i " ^"a«e but 

princessltook ve.^ 'ick "ih^r""' ''T **'" 
t!(ul_t,-. •*"' "ne I, M> beau- 

With herein ^:^:rt%X":.r.r.s 

Geron.mo-good manl He send le l ^ 
Blackrobe and ask me to bringhL bLk to i" 
>ng girl. Strong chief heafnl. . ° *'^" 

French hunters Vw Srot"? T^ ""I"" 
and beg, him to come to hfrS^w ^J^V f 
day grows too old. " ' *"* *•"* 

rr^rem'^id rdrastd^r'r'.'''r ^^^ 

.•'Will you go to Geronto? ffisbi 't A""'"" 
is breaking. " '*• '*'' heart 

Fath e'";tt?:t5ter^» ''^"'^'^- "P°" 
was he to do? wLl^^l ??*"'*'""• ^"^^ 

the enemy and X%"cSrji:''Sr5u1 

participants in thed^S excitement among the 

TsohaSssen v^th'^larglToSroHV"' 
bounded over the gra.i„^ehe°2^;rX- 



18 



WINONA. 



Father Menard stood. One of the women, who 
was on her way to the shallow river for water, 
happened to spy the stranger in the grass;. Not- 
ing that he was an Iroquois, she hastened 
back unnoticed to tell Tsohahissen that an enemy 
was in the camp. 

In a moment, they were upon both, howling 
and shrieking like a pack of wolves. Flying 
Eagle sprang to his feet and faced the whole 
frenzied populace, that would have cut him 
down with a sweep of tomahawks had not the 
gentle Jesuit interfered. With a quick, turn 
of the arm, the priest raised his crucifix into the 
air. His face was pale and his lips were mov- 
ing and, by some strange power, hundreds of 
hands loosened their grip on their deadly toma- 
hawks, while disordered, angry voices suddenly 
ceased — and strong men, men who but a moment 
before possessed Herculean strength, now sank 
back powerless in the light that shone from the 
little wooden crucifix. 

Then Father Menard briefly told his hearers 
the object of Flying Eagle's coming. "At day- 
break," he added, "I will leave you, my dear 
children. The voice of God calls me into the 
camp of the Iroquois. But I will return again. 
In the meanwhile, be good and place your hearts 
in your Father's care, Who is in heaveni" 

Flying Eagle was the guest of the learned 



WINONA. 



19 



jMtMt that evening and for some time they sat 
Wking in the old lodge down by the pine trees 
and. when later they both fell asleep. Father 
Menard dreamed a beautiful dream-and he was 
to be the peace-makerl 



Chapter II. 



At midnight, a heavy rain was falling. Feals 
of loud thunder shook the earth and now and 
then there wa. a crash of falling timber. The 
heavens flashed continually and, in the west, 
inky clouds ^ere writhing, demon-like, in a liv- 
ing hell of fire. Father Menard turned slightly 
on his couch and, slowly raised himself on his 
hands. Then he moved mechanically to his feet 
and lit the tallow candle on the table and strode 
sleepily across the floor. Just then there was a 
loud peal of thunder and crash followed crash; 
the poor priest's heart beat more rapidly as he 
said, thoughtfully: "A.hl 'tis a stormy night 
— ^but I am glad that God heard my prayer for 
rain. I hope that no harm may come to my 
Indian children! ' ' Then he went to the window 
and looked out across the dreamy landscape. It 
was a titanic battle of the elements. The rain 
was coming down in torrents and, when the skies 
again flashed lightning, he saw long rows of 
wigwams in the distance and more — he thought 
he saw the figure of a man, creeping along in 
the rain. 

In a second, the priest was down on his knees 
(20) 



WINONA. 



21 



and, from his heart, gave thanksgiving to his 
God. When he rose, there was a tap at the door. 
Who could be out at this hour? Perhaps one of 
his children of the wilderness was dying and 
longed for his strong word to give courage to the 
passing soul. He lifted the latch, the door flew 
open and there, on the threshold, stood the 
figure of a man, tall and full of majesty. It was 
Tsohahissen, poor, old man, dripping wet. 

The chief strode into the room proudly, and 
kissed his friend's hand. "O my good, kind 
fatherl Tsohahissen is happy. The sound of 
the rain has made the chief glad. He could not 
sleep so he left wigwam and, seeing a light in 
Blackrobe's window, knew that he was awake 
and came here to thaak him for his prayers. 
His God has been good to us and given us rain. 
Rain-dance no good— chief and braves danced full 
time but no rain. Chief now wise and will dance 
no nore. •• Tsohahissen's voice trembled and his 
eyes had a faraway look in them. Then, sud- 
denly, he clutched his battle-axe and sprane to 
the door. * 

"Oh, my son," intercc'-l the priest, "you 
must not go now; wait till the storm is over." 

Tsohahissen's face wrinkled into a smile, as 
he shook his head and said carelessly: "Big 
chief fears neither thunder, lightning nor rain. 
He loves it— but wife and child are all alone in 



«> WINONA. 

wigwam and they wait Tsohahissen's return." 
Then he raised himself straight as an arrow 
his fiery eyes fairly sparkled. thei« was a sudden 
sweep of his right arm and almost instantly he 
sprang out into the darkness and rain. 




Chaptkr III. 

When the dawn purpled the eastern hills, 
Father Menard and Flying Eagle left the lodge, 
the latter carrying a canoe on his strong should- 
ers. When they were gone, Nanette, the trusty 
Flench m-.id, who had come to the wilderness 
twenty years ago with her priest-cousin, gently 
closed the door and sighed deeply. That morn- 
ing she thought she had noticed a strange look 
in the Blackrobe's eyes, such as she had never 
seen before and, in her heart, she wondered if he 
would ever come back to Notre Dame de Larette 
alive. He had been a father to her and, now 
that he would be gone for some time, the little 
lodge down by the pine trees would become very 
lonely. 

When the two reached the river shore, they 
were greeted on all sides by the Indians, who 
stood waiting to give them a royal farewell. 
Tsohahissen strode sadly to the gentle priest's 
side and was engaged in earnest conversation for 
some minutes. 

"Iroquois hate Hurons!" he muttered, ner- 
vously. "I fear they will capture and kill our 
good father and Blackrobe will return to our 
(23) 



24 



WINONA. 



homes no more, i am sad. for I love- vou," and 
h.shps trembled overcome with em .^ 

iJlZ^^I.^ P"^' "'^ •»» »»and and. lay- 
tagUonTsohahissen-sshoulder. said conso'ling- 

!.L /! ***• «^** '^''••^" I »» going on an 
clu^d needs me^ My life is i„ God's Lds and 

iZ 7 """^""^ '° ^^"- With Him I can 
face any danger. And some day, who knows 
Geronmo an,d Tsohahissen may yet beZ; 

EnrotTf"^^-"^--^'-'--^- 

T«,hahissen opened his eyes eagerly andshook 
h« feather-crowned head, as if what the prie^ 

had said was nigh to impossible. 

In another few minutes Father Menard was in 

the paddles mtheair. Another second and thev 
smotethewater. There was great spIasWnga„ J 
prghngandthetwo were off. andSngtie I„d 
lans stood and watched until the can<^ and ^ 
^pants seemed like a small speck on the d£ 
tant. blue waters. 

For evenings after, there was one solitary 
wateher on the river shore. It was TsohahiS^ 
-poor man! His red face bore a saddened look 
as he gazed mto the troubled, angry waters 
A^in and again he raised his hand t^is mS 
and shouted wild-sounding words into the lone y 



WINONA. 



26 



night around him, but the splashing, moaning 
waves alone made answer. 

It was late when Father Menard and Flying 
Eagle reached their destination. The good priest 
was very tired— most of the journey having been 
made on foot. Geronimo stood waiting at the 
edge of the foiest in the moonlight to extend his 
friendly greeting and escort the illustrious 
visitor to the village. The great chief of the 
Iroquois was a very old man; his shoulders were 
slightly stooped but his gait was still strong and 
steady. On his fierce, swarthy, rough face, how 
ever, which was surrounded by a mas3 of raven- 
black hair, one could see a few soft lines, that 
were ready to run into a smile at the slightest 
provocation. His cheek bones were very prom- 
inent, his glance was quick and penetrating and 
somewhat s*em, but it melted into kindness, as 
he eyed the Blackrobe intently. 

In the central part of the village, a bonfire was 
glowing and, thickly grouped around, sat the 
braves, holding their pipes and smoking in 
silence. When the party drew nearer, Flying 
Eagle gave one shrill cry and went to the anx- 
ious faces, staring into the flames. In a moment 
he was among them and all the men took up 
the cry. It was so loud and shrill that bird and 
beast alike became suddenly frightened. 

When Geronimo drew near, leading Father 



26 



WINONA. 



Menard by the arm. heads turned and hundred, 

?hev W*^ "T " '''"'"^ "« "P*"'*^'" «S 
they looked upon him with a feeling of awe. 
Gomel 'said Geronimo kindly to the priest 
you must be hungry-the meal i, ready, ?^a7d 

and partook free y of venison and choice cuts o^ 

hard, beechwood platters. 

when Father Menard answered, in the Iroquois 

thTr ''f.'' "^'"''^ ''° "" "« couldTZ 
the hfe of the sick child, the earnest red-face 
burst into a smile of gratitude. 

h.r^'?" !''' ^''^ '"*^"^ Geronimo's wigwam, 
Ut a few feet away, thechattering voices o^id^ 

-to them he was greatness itself. His arrows 
never missed in a chase, his battle-axe and svZl 
never failed to draw blood in batUe. He^' 
fnd w;? "Tr "l-wthe language of be^ 

Wh.. t,?' "^ "^^'^ *"- ^^ ""^ wealthy. 

When the pnest entered the wigwam his glance 

lut": \'" *'' surroundings. Sca^tter^ 
about everywhere were rich furs of black fox 
snowy ermine, brown otter, beaver and deer' 
Spears, war-axes, bows, arrows, tomahawks' 



WINONA. 



27 



shields and much bead-work hung from every 
comer. 

Upon several fine skins of snowy ermine lay 
Winona— the dying girl— the glory of Geronimo's 
wild heart. She could not have been more than 
eighteen, this lovely princess of a mighty nation. 
She was extremely beautiful — her face had no 
rough lines or prominent angles. It was so un- 
Indian-like. Her complexion, too, was not that 
deep bronze, but a very soft, light yellow. Her 
lips had the color of the crimson twilight, her 
long, flowing hair was black as the night. Neck- 
laces of white beads and strings of wampum lay 
on her throbbing bosom, and her dress was of 
fine deer skin, thinned and cuied so that it was 
soft as silk. A pair of fine buckskin moccasins, 
embroidered with quill-work, beids and shells, 
covered her feet. Beside her knelt the "medicine- 
mn." He was gaunt and wild-eyed and it 
seemed almost incredible that a heart could go 
on beating and sustain life in so thin and wasted 
a body. But he was a power in his community 
— this strange-looking individual with the white, 
flowing hair, the long fingernails and mufiSed 
monotones. 
"Wise as the wisest in council grave. 

He sat with the chiefs around hii - 
He knew of the roots that ever save; 
He sought them down by the Blackstream's wave, 
He knew the star of each warrior brave 

And knew where the fates had found him." 

Yesterday, at sunrise, he had come to Gero- 



WINONA. 

Pewed. The sick rhn7 ^*t '"'y and ^isap- 

The pHest lald^s ^ rirp^r ^"•■"^' 
very weak and fluttering i P^'se-it was 

Her body was «>ld andVvt? 'T'^P""- 
Perepiration. '^^'**' ^"'' » dammy 

on«''%'drdih;trj;t' r "^ ^'^"•"'-'' - 

his satchel and S ifZ ! "" '*'* ''^'^'^ 
Quicklyhepouredo^^af^^ '* * '"«" '^•a'- 
-d into a liSe glai syrii" S'^ "' ^ ''^'>' «^- 
water, and injectedit S!' '^'^ "P^^'^ '^ith 
he filledseve?earthrr ^'^'''''*™- ^hen 
placed then, a^n^'d Jh^" Sd^^*'? ^/ water and 
and overcome the state of In ""*"** '"''""'"o 
had fallen into (Jj^n^r fT *'''' ^'"""^ 
^"% and then 2^S "y^^? i'-^ P"-* -" 
beautiful princess, live?- ^'"°"«' '"V 

The learned Jesuit nierelv raised hw 

raised his eyes and 



WINONA. 



answered: "I will be better able to tell later on. 
I will do my best" 

To Gerooimo, Winona was everything. Since 
her mother's death, two years ago, she had been 
to him a consolation and a companion. 

In thirty minutes the hypodermic injection 
was repeated— the heart had not yet responded 
to the stimulus. Small pellets, containing some 
active medicinal substance were also given the 
girl. In a few moments, Winona's eyes closed 
and she drifted into a calm, refreshing ^eep. 

Father Menard then strode to the chief's side. 
"You must lie down, Geronimo — it is late. You 
look tired and worn out and to-night you must 
have a few hours of quiet sleep. I will watch 
the sick child and. if anything happens, I will 
call you." 

Geronimo at first refused bluntly, but soon the 
priest's gentle voice mastered the latter's feelings 
and he sank down upon a pile of buffalo skins 
and was soon asleep. 

The missionary stole to the side of the sick girl 
—she was sleeping quietly. He felt her pulse 
and his eyes brightened instantly. Again he 
raised his eyes to heaven and laying his crucifix 
upon her breast, prayed in silence. Without, 
strong winds shrieked and whistled through the 
writhing branch ts. and now and then the mourn- 
ful cry of- 9«ue wild animal ia the forest stole 



so 



WINONA. 



bed-iide. "^^ watcher at her 

woke S.I0 vrf. "r'-^^ pSt 

y.wned. opened an^dTub^ht^e. l' t'^ 
he «w the Blackrobe bendTng ov«"L . " 
and miehty fear nM.-»«tJ "• " P*"* 

body. HeMlf^!^*^ '^'^'y ""««»* m hi- 
to Ws kni ^ ^"^ •» ;« "^ himself 

deadi I felt it—r 1. "• Winona is dead— 

Then his head feU into his hmre bm»« 1. ^ 
Md he sobbed like a child. ^^ ^"^ 

"GeronimoJ" exclaimni «,- 
"Raise yourselfl Wi«nT- ^^ «^'y- 

-lives I s^r ThI 1 1 "°* *'""''' ''"^ «^ 
that sickIS, If'y^t^nSr ^ThTf "'^ '" 

^^_; ?"«««». the heartsof her Iroquois child- 



QuicklyhelodGerem 



mo tothesick child, who 




WINONA. 



81 



greeted both with a smile that lingered for aome 
time on two bright, rosy lip*. 

Geronimo bent over the beautiful form and 
stroked the black locks gently, while Father 
Menard brushed aside the heavy curtains at the 
doorway and left the wigwam. And for some 
minutes father and child were alone. 

The sky was a mass of slate-colored clouds, 
but far in the East, through the distant cedars and 
hemlocks, a few long lines of red light told of the 
birth of another day. The birds were stirring in 
^he trees and flocks of wild geese in the grassy 
iiiaishes were ey eing the skies to take their morn- 
ing cruise. On a distant mountain top, a lonely 
elk bugled forth glad welcomes to the infant day, 
that lay cradled in the lap of the rosy dawn. 

The priest's responsive heart beat gladly with- 
in him as his eyes drank in the beauty of the 
morning hour, and almost suddenly the sun 
smiled upon the face of nature. Soon there was 
a great stir in the village. Hundreds of wig- 
wams threw forth their occupants and women 
were running around every- where, preparing the 
morning meal. 

Father Menard quit his place and silently en- 
*^ed the wigwam. There he saw a beautiful 
picture— one he did not expect to see so soon — and 
it was all arranged, in his shoVt absence, by the 
artistic fingers of a powerful Creator. On her 



WINONA. 

father at the bedSde Ger^l- ^ T'' °' ''^^ 
bowed and in his hands he hTd fa^^^r' T 
which the Priest had „ia^^ ^^ cruafix, 

in the nighSe ^"^^ !? "^" "^'"""^'^ ''^^-^ 
>ips mo^d sZy an^'d'Z^:;- '^'""'^ '"'^ ''^^ 

disturbed the quiet sereni^ nf I ^^''^ ''^ ''^'^ 
instant, he sank upoTh^,? ^ '*"^- ^^ «" 
face as he whis^pe^i'^^-^^r^^^^^^ '''' 
thee!" For some time allkt,.!?- m ^ ^^^"^ 
to the good priest it slmed JhtT ""' ^"'^ 
warn was peopled and Se '^ ^^.^^ ^'^- 
faced beings, who had >:t^i • . ^^' ^^^^t" 
and, in his' L^rt, he feU Lrhr^ ^^ ^"""■^^' 
stir and rustle of ;ngei?wX "•■' ^"^ 

!y upon mnZ:::T:tt:zz -^^<^ ^-ng. 

ions, fierce, red face nf f^ • ^^ "'*° *^ ^nx- 

mountains 



tains 1 






Chapter IV. 

One month had passed and Winona had fully 
recovered from her illness and Father Menard 
was beginning to think of his homeward journey. 
Much had come to pass in all this time and the 
good priest felt elated, and justly so. Geronimo 
and Winona had both become deeply interested 
in the story of the Christ and many were the 
searching questions the Blackrobe answered. 
One thing alone troubled him sorely. On several 
occasions, Geronimo had given utterance to his 
great hatred of the Hurons. But he said nothing 
of their intended invasion. 

One evening the three sat together in front of 
the chief's wigwam. Father Menard had just 
pictured the birth of the infant at Bethlehem and 
now the spell of silence was upon all. Up in the 
beeches overhead, a number of squirrels libbled 
and frisked exultingly and, several yards away, 
a limpid brook made sweet music for tired eouls. - 

The priest ran his fingers thoughtlessly through 
his beads, and Winona gazed upon him intently. 
Suddenly Geronimo's strong voice broke the 
lethargy of the moment: "To-morrow the Black- 
robe leaves us and we will miss his kind face. 
(33) 



34 



WINONA. 



Chief and daughter will be lonely without him 
and the wigwam will not be as bright when he 
is gone. But he will come again — often — and 
tell us stories of his good God. The way is not 
long and Flying Eagle will always accompany 
him. He knows every path in the big forest. ' ' 
The chief eyed the priest for a moment and his 
voice melted into a tone of pathos, when he 
asked: "Will Blackrobe forget us or will he 
come again, as a friend, to the camp of the 
Iroquois?" "Certainly, my good man!" answ- 
ered the priest, as he rose from the wooden bench. 
"I will come again — often — to see you. Twice 
every seven days, in snow or rain, the Blackrobe 
will journey to your village and, as sign of trust, 
he leaves his crucifix with Geronimo. Great 
chiefl I will be happy to meet you and your 
braves here whenever I come, and you will find 
in me a good friend," and he handed Geronimo 
his precious crucifix, as a pledge of his promise. 

The old man took the proffered token and 
pressed it to his bosom. Winona, too, was pleased. 
Slowly she rose and took the Blackrobe's hand 
in her own. "I am so glad you will come 
ag^in," she said. "Winona wants to become 
your friend and learn more about your God." 

Just then, Geronimo strode out of the wigpwam 
and soon returned with a bundle of rich furs and 
skins under his arm. "Geronimo brings his 



WINONA. 



36 



costliest furs and skins to the good Blackrobe," 
he said kindly, "and asks him to accept them in 
payment for his trouble and services. Skins and 
furs are good — the best. They will bring in 
much money at the trading post. " 

The priest thanked him kindly 'n the Iroquois 
tongue and added: "But keep youi kins and furs, 
my friend! I do not seek to rob you of these treas- 
ures. Only give me your good will — and more 
— will you let me name my own reward?" 

"With pleasure, O my father!" answered 
Geronimo thoughtfully. 

"May I ask you, then, in the name of my God, 
Geronimo, to give up all thought of your pre- 
arranged attack on the Hurons, who dwell peace- 
fully in yonder village? Their lives are dear to 
me — for I love them. I know the virulence of 
an Iroquois' hatred — but you must not harm my 
children! Will you promise?" 

Geronimo tossed his head arrogantly and bit 
his lips in anger. That demon-hatred was again 
lashing his soul, his face was re ^nr than ever. 
It seemed as if every drop of blood in his body 
had suddenly run to his head to stimulate his 
thoughts. An indignant look crept into his face, 
as he stepped about proudly, and he was on the 
verge of refusing, when his eyes stole from the 
priest to Winona. She trembled and, when he 
saw that the tears were gathering in her eyes, a 



36 



I 
f 
I 



WINONA. 



shnll cry smote the air and he exclaimed, almost 
wildly, as his fingers tightened about the cracifix: 
' 'Geronimo promises! Geronimo promises! Black- 
robe's children shall live in peane! ' • and he sprang 
to the priest's side and took the outstretched 
hand in his own. 



Chapter V. 



When Father Menard again returned to Notre 
Dame de Larette all hearts were glad. Tsohahis- 
sen, himself, had gone down the river in his 
canoe to meet him at sundown. Nanette also 
felt glad and, in the little lodge by the pine trees, 
the table was set and a brisk fire was burning in 
the-grate and the trusty maid sang lustily, as she 
knitted carelessly. There was a rap at the door. 
A bright look stole into Nanette's brown eyes 
when the door opened wide to let in Father Men- 
ard. Gladly she sprang forward to meet him. 

"Well, Nanette," he exclaimed tenderly after 
the evening meal was over, "any news from 
France, from home — from Gabrielle? Any letters, 
post-cards, parcels?" 

"Yes, my dear cousin. Batiste, the French 
trader, brought a letter yesterday. Let me hope 
it contains nothing but good news!" and from 
the drawer she took the treasured envelope. 

"Ah, yes,! explained the priest, "from Paris 
— from the dear Countess Boulanger," as he 
opened it carefully. Then slowly he read the 
contents to Nanette and several times he paused 
to wipe his tearful eyes: 

(87) 



WINONA. 



My Dear Son:-Your last letter arrived safely. 
We were glad to hear of your good work among 
he Indians. God is with you in that distant 
land-no wonder, then, that you are happy and 
contented. Twenty yeare ago you leftourLu- 
UM chateau and what long yea« they were for 
Gabnelle and myself ! But soon the spell is to be 
broken. Gabrlelle has practiced mVdicine in 
Pans faithfully for ten years and needs a „^ 
badly, and he is going to America to visit Vou 

?Tt u ^ ^'^ '° "*^y ^*h yo" as long 
as he wish^. I would also like to go. my dear 
child, but rheumatism has crippled me in my old 
days and the ,oumey would be too much for me 
I suffer much-but then it is sweet to suffer one s 
Calvary ,n th.s life. Your brother has been good 
to me and I will miss him so, but. for your ^e. 
I will make the sacrifice. I am sending you two 
large boxes, containing much that will be of use 
to you in your forest home. I also enclose sev- 
eral dresses for Nanette-the good child! Give 
her my love I will write her in two weeks; my 
rh^imatism ,s bad today and my fingers are vJy 

'•Pray for me often, my child, for God knows 
my hfe s sun .s now westering near the horizon! 
I will never forget you or Gabrielle. for I have 



WINONA. 



89 



Ic 'ed you both, as if you had been my own 
children. 

"Let me hear from you again when the next 
ship sails. 

"Your dear, 

"Fanchon Boulanger." 

The days wore on and summer faded into au- 
tumn, and one day in October, when the winds 
were cold and the trees were aflame with color, 
Gabrielle entered Notre Dame de Larette with 
his French guide, tired and exhausted, glad that 
the long journey was at an end. The good priest 
embraced him warmly. Nanette was also over- 
joyed, and for hours the three sat together in the 
candle-light, chatting briskly of old friends and 
old scenes of sunny France. Father Menard was 
the picture of happiness — his face softening into 
a smile, as from time to time he puffed his quaint 
old Normandy pipe. Gabrielle was very talk- 
ative, and often the priest's eyes rested on the 
handsome figure of his brother in the jre-light, 
with his thickly set shoulders and manly brow. 
His face was fresh and ruddy and on it were 
written lines of tenderness and expression. Two 
dark, dreamy eyes — such as poets love to sing of 
— flashed continually and softened into sunshiny 
smiles. Verily, he was a fine specimen of man- 
hood — a sturdy young oak, erect, strong and 
promising in the fresh light of life's morning. 



Chapter VI. 

The winter passed slowly by, and Gabrielle of- 
ten accompanied his brother on his visits to the 
Iroquo.s village. The Indians received b^S 
kmdly and the work in the mission w JprosSf 
2 Hearts that had been cold now^e™ 
ner m.nds expanded and life held forthToftLr 
Ideals to these poorred children. A new awaken 
2 was taking place, a new dawn wasTasX^." 

To Gabrielle. this wild life of the forest seemed 
glonous; he fairly revelled in the new S af 

bnght and the minutes so fleeting and joyous 
Some strange thing had stolen imo his^b^^n^.' 
He felt he was a different man-he knewT 

the halls of his memory were lively with inte^S' 
A new people thronged its corridors and. Sve 
all else, the sunlight of a woman's face^Wn! 
ona s-was continually upon him. Go where he 
might, there she stood before him. you'g viv! 
aoous and beautiful. He could not for^ Z 
From out that new sea of faces hers stL Z 



WINONA. 



41 



clear and distinct, singular, striking and beauti- 
ful, and, above all, so un-Indian-like— a face 
that would have set the brain of sculptor and 
artist alike mad with delight. 

All that winter and following spring Gabrielle 
had not breathed a word of his admiration of 
Winona to his priest-brother. Both toiled faith- 
fully on, the one tending to the bodily, the other 
to the spiritual wants of the two Indian missions. 
But in his heart Gabrielle tre isured many a happy 
secret. The warm admiration of those first days 
was now leading him into avenues, rich with 
asphodel and rose, and here it was a new and 
mighty feeling overpowered him which made of 
life a beautiful abode, where flowers shone 
brightly and birds sang unceasingly to the heart 
that had never before realized what it was to love 
an ideal woman. Love had stolen in gradually 
and quietly and, now that she had placed her 
delicate fingers upon him, his temples throbbed 
hotly and he often dreamed of a day in the future 
and prayed that his dream might come true. 

A year and a half passed by and many happy 
hours had Gabrielle spent in Winona's company. 
He had studied hard and now conversed freely 
In the Iroquois tongue. Winona, too, proved 
herself an apt pupil of the former and was quite 
happy in being able to express herself in French. 
Geronimo, also, was delighted with his daugh- 



42 



WINOKA. 



ter's progress and, in his eyes, Gabrielle was the 
sum-total of perfection itself. 

One evening, late in summer, the Indians 
were gathered in an open space listening atten- 
tively to Father Menard's words of gratitude. 
Now, that the last barriers between the Hurons 
and the Iroquois had crumbled away, the good 
priest felt elated that at last the two nations had ' 
signed a treaty to be on friendly terms with each 
other. But an hour ago the peace proceedings 
had been in progress. Tsohahissen had come in 
person to extend the good wishes of his people 
and Geronimo received him kindly. And, pow, 
they sat side by side, the two strong heads of the 
two villages, the two chiefs who had often 
clashed battle-axes, the two men who had nour- 
ished a fierce and deadly hatred for years, no 
longer enemies but friends— both having white 
souls to redeem, with God as common Father 
and Master. 

Gabrielle and Winona had stolen away from 
the crowd to a bench in a thicket of saplings, 
not far off, and the glorious moon, that hung 
like a golden crescent above the spruces and 
hemlocks and gray hills, seemed to pause on her 
journey and listen for the sound of their glad 
voices. 

Gabriell; s hand stole warmly into Winona's 
and for a moment silence reigned, while the 



WINONA. 



48 



music of a distant water-fall played a strange in- 
terlude. At last Gabrielle's lips parted. " Win- 
onal" he exclaimed passionately, "the longer I 
look into your glowing eyes, the hotter bums 
this fever within, that has been consuming me 
for many a day. I would have told you long ago 
but I dared not. I was afraid lest you might 
crush me. You are the little princess of my 
heart's kingdom — Winonal I love youl Hear 
me — Winona — I love youl Will you become 
my wife?" And, unconsciously, he drew her to 
his breast and their lips met — but it was only 
for a second. 

Winona's face looked white in the moonlight 
and she raised herself from him like a frightened 
bird. It was all so sudden and her heart was at 
a standstill. "Love me Gabriel le? How can 
you?" she spoke tremblingly. "I am only an 
Indian — you are so grand, so noble, so good. 
You should despise me — and yet you say you 
love me. Nol Nol I cannot become your wife, 
and yet — and yet — ' ' She paused a moment, her 
cheeks were hot and in her eyes tears gathered. 
"And yet, " she sobbed, "I love you, Gabrielle. 
I had never known what love was until you 
came. ' ' 

Silently her hand stole into his and she drew 
herself to him, like some frail thing seeking pro- 
tection in his strong arms. 



44 



WtNONA. 



J" « then there was a stir in the thicket but 

thetwo did not heed it. In a moment two wild, 

fiery eyes were riveted on them. The moonlight 

was full upon the gloating, angry face; the teeth 

were set, the eyes were hateful, fiery balls and, 

from them, shone a demon-like depair. It was 

Flying Eagle. Wolf-like, he had tracked the 

innocent lamb to her lair; his eyes had looked 

on a scene he had too well expected, and, as he 

raised his lithe body into the air, there was a 

look of determination in them as he whispered 

hotly: "You pale-facel I hate youl I will 

kill youl Yes, kill you— you French dogi 

You love Winona— hal hal She will yet be mine 

and I will step over your corpse to make her my 

bride. Flying Eagle loves Winona with all his 

wild, red heart but he hates, and will, kill, the 

French dogi" Then he stood ready to spring 

upon them both like some wild thing, but he bit 

his lips and raised his clenched fist into the air and , 

with a curse on his lips, crept through the long 

grass, like a deadly, hissing snake. 

That night Gabrielle opened his heart to his 
brother and told him how he had decided to 
spend the remainder of his days with the Indians 
and, at some time in the near future, take Win- 
ona unto himself as wife. The priest was pleas- 
ed and inwardly congratulated himself that he 
had such a brother and that he was to get so 



WINONA. 



45 



handsome and virtuous a wife as Winona. At 
first the question of caste thrust itself upon him, 
and the thought of his brother marrying an In- 
dian caused him to revolt inwardly, but in an in- 
stant the feeling left him. 

"She is good," he thought. "Winona is one 
of God's creatures and her soul is just as white 
and pure in His eyes as that of any white woman. ' ' 



Chapter VII. 

Preparations for the marriage ceremony had 
been in progress for some weeks. The heart of 
Geronimo never beat more proudly than on the 
night Winona told him of Gabrielle's love and 
devotion. To-morrow, at sunrise, Mass was to 
be celebrated at the altar in the grove of oines 
nearby, and Father Menard was to pronounce 
the two, man and wife. The whole Huron tribe, 
led by Tsohahissen, were 'invited and would at- 
tend the cermony in a body and, with the Iro- 
quois decked in all their battle array, the con- 
gregation would no doubt not only be great in 
numbers but also grand in their gorgeous dis- 
play of finery and color. 

Only one soul in the two villages was restless. 
It was Flying Eagle. Not many moons before 
the last winter had set in, he had told Winona 
of his love for her— but she had spumed him and 
he had never forgiven her for it. And, strange, 
he stiU loved her. The roots had grown down 
too deeply into his heart. During all the days 
that passed, he had played his part so well that 
no one suspected treachery on his part. He stood 
a favorite in all their eyes, especially in Geron- 
(46) 



WINONA. 



47 



imo's. Winona, too, thought that the old-time 
love for her was all forgotten, and happily await- 
ed the morrow. 

That night, after the whole village was asleep, 
the figure of a man could be seen gliding through 
the grove of pine trees, where the altar stood 
ready for the morrow's ceremony. It was Flying 
Eagle. Where was he going.' Had his last 
plans, to which straws of hope he had clung like 
a dying man, been again frustrated and was he 
now making good his escape to die out among 
the lonely hills in despair? 



Chapter VIII. 

Early next morning the Indians were astir 
with excitement. Throngs of Hurons and Iro- 
quois swarmed the forest— men, women and 
children of all ages and sizes— and the chatter of 
their many voices drowned the music of the large 
river that flowed through the nearby marshes. 
Presently, the chimes announced the hou'r for 
Mass. All betook themselves to the pine grove. 
Father Menard was robing for the Mass. Geron- 
imo and Tsohahissen were already in their places 
and near the front knelt Winona and Gabrielle, 
their faces aglow with an almost superhuman 
joy- 
When the Mass began, a silence as of the 
tomb, fell upon the kneeling multitude. Not 
even a child cried or spoke, and there were 
many present. All was happiness and quiet, 
save for the sweet-voiced choristers in the trees, 
intoning their litanies of joy. It was a happy 
hour— 

"breathless with adoration," 

and many an eye followed the officiating priest 

at the altar. And now the priest turned, facing 

the people, chalice in hand, and, as the chimes 

(48) 



■If 



WINONA. 



49 



rang out three times, all heads were bowed in 
prayer. Slowly, reverently, he walked towards 
the kneeling pair and, bowing, administered to 
both the Communion. Both knelt in prayer for 
a moment and then rose to go to their seats. 
No sooner had they turned, facing the crowd, 
when an arrow whizzed quickly through the air. 
Few had seen it— it had come so rapidly— but 
all heard the shrill cry that came from a stagger- 
ing woman's lips. 

Father Menard turned and, rushing from the 
altar, saw what had happened just as Gabrielle 
caught Winona in his arms. The arrow had 
only grazed her cheek, and a look of gratitude 
was on the priest's kindly, old face By this 
time the people were panic-stricken but the 
priest motioned them back. 

They laid Winona down gently in the grass 
and for a moment the two brothers watched the 
pale face of the stricken woman. Just then, a 
second arrow hissed through the air, striking 
the priest's breast just as he had bent over to 
bathe Winona's dry lips with water. 

The poor, old priest raised himself suddenly, 
his trembling hands on the arrow that stuck fast. 
A sickly groan escaped from him and he sank to 
the ground, powerless— a dying man— on his 
lips a word of prayer to his Maker and his God. 
The Indians Jiad how swarmed around the dy- 



60 



WINONA. 



ing priest, their hearts sick with sorrow. The 
whole forest was filled with sobbing me , women 
and chilA-en. Tsohahiasen and Geronimo were 
at Father Menard's side and Gabrielle was busy 
administering restoratives and dressing the 
wound. The arrow had pierced the priest's 
heart. He could not live. 

Suddenly there was a crash as of breaking tim- 
ber, and the faithful priest's eyes opened just in 
time to see a man, bow and arrow in hand, faUing 
to earth. The branch of a pine tree overhead , on 
which the murderer had been standing and hid- 
ing, had broken at the worst possible time— only 
to deliver him into the hands of his captors It 
T.as Flying Eagle-his weight had been too 
much for the bough, from which he had sent 
his deadly arrows. 

"KiU himl Kill himi" came from hundreds 
of throats, as he fell to the ground. Tsohahissen 
and Geronimo sprang from the priest's side, their 
faces aflame with a bitter anger. 

The dying priest heard the cry. He opened 
his eyes and motioned the two chiefs back, as he 
said huskily: "Nol nol You must not kill him 
— . forgive Flying Eagle. Do not touch a hair 
of his headi God alone has the right to punish 
and take life. I die happy_my-work-is done 
—and— I— see the gates— of heaven— opening. 
I— have— been the peace-maketv-Ir-am going 



WINONA. 



61 



—into— the Lijfhtl Good-bye— Gabrielle I— 
Good-bye— Winona!— Good-bye— all!" The 
trembling hands slowly raised the crucifix to the 
lips— the passing soul hovered a moment on the 
brink of eternity— and then life was extinct. 

Gabrielle stole to Winona's side and wept 
bitteriy. Now that his brother had passed out 
of his young life forever, his heart was fast 
breaking. There was nothing to comfort him, 
for Winona still lay there unconscious. Would 
her soul, also, pass through those golden gates 
into the land where it is always morning? 
Would her eyes never open again— if only for a 
moment— that he might look into their blue 
depths? Oh I if she would only wake that he 
might speak but one word to her before she goes! 

The people were wild with excitement and the 
mob would have torn Flying Eagle to pieces had 
not Tsohahissen and Geronimo interceded. 
Both bore painful expressions— they realized 
that the great friend of the red man was gone 
and amidst a flow of tears tried to assuage the 
sorrow of their people. 

The Blackrobe's tender voice was forever 
hushed and their hearts were breaking, for they 
knew that never again would it music forth mel- 
odies to tired hearts from life's plaintive keys. 
And the touch of that gentle handl How the 
children would wait in vain, through the long 



62 



WINONA. 



winters and summers, for the little pat on 
their chubby cheeks, which he never forgot to 
give. Geronimo at once returned to the side of 
his daughter after he had spoken to his people. 
Winona stirred restlessly. Her face grew warm- 
er and her eyes suddenly opened. They greeted 
Gabrielle's. 

"Where am I? What has happened?" she 
sighed faintly. '*0, take me away from herel 
You are crying— and on our wedding-dayl 
Everything seems so strange to me — and fatUer 
—he is crying. Oh I what is the matter? Am I 

dreaming?" The two men could not speak 

their hearts were breaking with grief. 

Then she turned her head. Her eyes fell up- 
on the body of the priest nearby, whose face bore 
a smile and looked heavenwards. Winona rais- 
ed herself on her arms and stared vainly. "He 
isdead— OhI theBlackrobe is deadi" she sobbed 
and fell back overcome with emotion. 

And, for some time, the three wept together. 



I 



li: 



Chapter T.X. 

Flying Eagle was surrounded and watched all 
that day, but in the night made his escape 
and, being fleet of foot, easily ouban his pur- 
suers. And from that day on not a soul ever 
heard of Flying Eagle again. 

It is thought that in some lonely spot far be- 
yond the eastern hills, far away from the sound 
of human voice, he spends sunless and miserable 
days, without friend, without test. Even the wild 
animals of the glen seem to spurn him like some 
deadly, loathsome thing. His life is a torture and 
a burden and his heart suffers a remorse that is 
known only to those who feel the silent penalty 
of crime. 

For days Winona's life hung by a thread. 
The arrow that had grazed her cheek had been 
poisoned with curari— that deadly Indian poison 
— and a violent toxaemia fast undermined her 
vitality. 

Gabrielle called all the resources of his pro- 
fession to bis aid and fought the disease vigor- 
ously and, when he felt that he was going to win, 
his heart gav? a bound of joy that set his nen'es 
a-tingling. Winona was to live after all— and 
he thanked God for it. 

(53) 



Chapter X. 



Years and years have passed since the open- 
ing chapter in this story. The Huron and Iro- 
quois tribes are no more. Another race of men 
inhabit the country where once they lived and 
roamed. Notre Dame de Larette is only a mem- 
ory of other days. In its place, a great city has 
nsen up, filled with the spirit of a happy pro- 
giess. The little chapel down by the pine grJve, 
which stands to this day, is the only relic of the 
past. Gabrielle erected it over his brother's 
grave. In it also rest all that is earthly of Win- 
ona and Gabrielle. 

A few, old settlers still remain and, sitting by 
the fireside on the cold winter evenings, with 
pipes in hand, they love to tell the tale of these 
red children, as they heard it in the long ago 
from the lips of some reminiscent grandfather 
or grandmother. And then the story of Winona 
and Gabrielle flowers in their minds, and the 
heroic mission of the good old Blackrobe, who 
struggled on and fought the fight for nearly a 
quarter of a century, and eyes grow moist and 
hearts expand and bum with lore for those sil- 
ent figures that grace the brilliant kaleidoscope 
(54) 



WINONA. 05 

of the past in aback-ground of spreading spmoe, 
maple and pine. 

And, as long as men are men, such honest, 
good souls as Father Menard— men who fight 
ihe battle in life's most secluded and despised 
fields, will ever occupy a lasting place in the 
silent niches of the world's great martyrs. 

Winona and Gabrielle also live in the hearts 
of the people and to this day even the little child- 
ren love to sit around and listen to the stoiy of 
the beautiful bride of the foi-est 



THE PROFESSOR'S SECRET. 



Chaptkr I. 

A few gleams of sunshine stole playfully into 
the large, cheerful music room and threw their 
dreamy shadows on a white, marble bust of 
Beethoven that stood on the piano in the comer. 
Signor Francesco Bottini had be^n busy most of 
the afternoon and there, at his table he still sat, 
pouring over the manuscripts of a new Requiem 
Mass, which he had just completed. His eyes 
had a satisfied look in them, and, deep in his 
heart, he knew that he had written his master- 
piece— something that would at last ring itself 
into the ears of the musical critics. 

Presently, he rose and walked to the window 
and, brushing back the heavy damask curtains, 
his eyes wandered down into the busy, throbbing 
street, pulsating with life. Dear old St. Patrick's 
across the street, looked radiant in her twilight 
glory and over the distant, lone, blue hills the 
.sun was throwing his la.st, bright shafts of light. 
Without, everything was bright and cheerful, 
but within the heart of the old professor, all was 
dark and desolate. As he stood there one could not 
(57) 



n 



THK PKOPKaSOK'S SKCKMT. 



^nd the« w., . bold .weep of fullnei In W. 
•ppea«nce. His hair wm bl«:k as the ravw 
^ it wmewhat intensified the golden Snt S hi! 
oomple«on. On hia face were written <«™i 
new^refinement and great depth of chanuter. 
It waa a face of marvellous sweetness and great 
gentleness and. ^et. there was « latent sad^ 
m those dark, fiery, dancing eyes. whosT^c^ 
no one conld undersund. «uch'le;sTat^C^ 
For a moment. Signor Bottini sighed heavily 

piano His eyes were moist and his fingers 
trembled as they moved slowly over the cSd 
vory keys. He was playing the "Misere,?- 

I„^i!"i!'~°*^ "* ^'''*'' J»«fe"ow-conntryman 
.nd t^chei^nd thesad. plaintive tones s^ 

2r^hV^f^" ''"'*"'''''»*""• The tender 
• r, that followed, was sweet and stirring. It 
•^s|^ed to appeal strongly to the Signor's 
P^nt feehngs and several large team rolled 
down his cheeks. 

"Horten.sel- he whispered tenderly, "Hor. 
hr^nir'*^"' ^'--^J-Wm'ercy'n 

There was a rap at the door and. suddenly, a 
welWrest, young Italian entered. It wa. An- 



THK pkupiumok's skckkt. 



60 



lieiico, the profeMor's trusty office-boy and hia 
voice had a ring of freshness in it when he aaid: 
"Signorl Madamoiselle Laportel" 
The old man read the perfumed card and ex- 
claimed: "Please show theyoung lady up-staire 
Angelico!" ' 

The door closed genUy and, in a few moments 
opened again. "I am delighted to see you 
Signor," came from the handsome, young wom- 
an, as she entered the study, gowned in a simple 
dress of black. "But you are not well-you 
look — " 

"I am pretty well, Felice." interrupted the 
professor. "Tistrue. I look somewhat strange 
—but that is nothinp. child. You see I am so 
troubled and worried with my new Mass and this 
accounts for it. But pardon me. how are you. 
Felice? I have missed you in my study. Yon 
were always so bright and cheerful." 

The soft, deep eyes— blue as the aea— suddenly 
opened and the young woman replird somewhat 
nervously: "I am not well, Signor. There is a 
wound deep in my heart, that Time alone can 
heal. Since God, in His wisdot .. took Hortense 
away from us. our home has been enijiti . With 
her went its brightest sunbeam, its purest flower 
and its highest and noblest inspiration. Six 
months have gone by since that sad day and 



60 



THK PROFKSSOR'S SKCRKT. 



dear, old mother's heart will never be the same 
again. To-day mother asked me to open the 
piano. It was the first time for many days I 
sang for her and when I turned she was smiUng. 
It was the first smile I had seen on mother's fa^ 
in all these long, weary months-and. oh, it 
made my heart so glad. Then she came over 
anr put her hand on my shoulder and said: 
Fehce, my child you must call in and see Signor 
Bottin.and arranb with him for your singing 
lessons. The house is empty since Hor^nse 
sings no more. I miss her in the parlor, in t^e 
cathedral, intheconcert-hall-here. there, every- 
wnere— and I want you to take her place." 

Signor, will you then for mother's sake, for 
Hortense's sake, take an interest in me?" 

"Certainly. Felice." answered the dear, old 
musician. "For your mother's sake, for Hor- 
tense s sake, I will do anything. There are 
great possibilities in your voice, my child, and I 
know you will succeed because you work dili- 
gently. Only to-day I met Father O'Brien and 
he rep-etted that Hortense's place had not yet 
^en filled m the choir. <The pure, innocent 
^ul he said,, 'how we have missed her! But 
God knew best. He heard her voice. It was clear 
and penetrating like a lark's and He called her 
to s,ng His praises, in that heavenly choir 
whose sweetness surpasses all understanding * 



THE professor's SECRET. 



61 



Felicel the position is open. Work hard— and 
you may yet fill your dead sister's place. ' ' 

When Felice Laporte was gone, Signer Bottini 
heaved a sigh of relief. The young girl had not 
surmised, in fact did not know, that the very 
mention of Hortense's name was extremely pain- 
ful to him and recalled many prscious memories, 
that echoed through the sacred aisles of the past.' 
He walked to the window— fhe day was getting 
darker and down in the streets the newsboys 
were busy. Then he stirred the fire in the grate 
and, for a long time, watched the flames leaping 
wildly in their mad endeavor to get away up the 
chimney. Then he sank into an arm-chair and 
burying his face in his hands, whispered under 
his breath: 

"You may yet fill your dead sister's place! 
Ah, yes! you may— but there is one place your 
voice can never reach, FeUce. It is the audience- 
chamber of my heart and when Hortense— bright 
bird— stopped singing, I closed its doore upon 
the cold world forever." 



i ^ i : 

Jill 

1 1 II 



Chapter ir. 

MadamoiselleHortenseUporte, though yontiR 
^ years, had been a power in her native city 
Everywhere she was heralded as a musical ptod- 
igy-a bom artist-and her beautiful, cultivated 
vo.ce stamped her at once as one of the leading 
pnma donnas. Si^or Bottini was proud of his 
talented pupil and wrote an opera especially for 
her in which she fairly electrified her audience^ 
with her marveUous. soprano voice. She had 
many rich triumphs-yet. withal, hers was the 
st^same. unassuming, beautiful, christian char- 
acter, that won its way right into the heart of 
everyone. She was loved by all classes of peo- 
pie and the poor of many cities were pleased to 
call her their queen of song, because she had 
repeatedly given so much of her income and ser- 
vices to lighten tneir burdens. But in the height 
of her glory she was stricken down with the fe- 
ver while watching at the bedside of herwid- 

'Ti'"°S**'"'^*''"' "^ver recovered from the 
attack. Her death was regretted everywhere and 
especially in her native city and none felt her loss 
more keenly than Signor Bottini. Often he 
would say to himself: "Since Hortense has 
(62) 



THB PROFESSOR'S SECRBT. 



63 



gone out of my life. I feel so lonely. My nights 
are restless and my days are sunless. • ' Then he 
would mutter loving words and ask God to bless 
his lost one with eternal sunshine and happiness. 
The days were getting longer and, with his 
many pupils and choir rehearsals, Bottini was 
an overworked man. The membere of the St 
Patrick's choir were simply delighted with the 
new Requiem Mass and all were diligently pre- 
paring their respective parts. Felice, too, was 
putting her whole soul into her music and Signor 
Bottini was more than pleased with his new 
1 enfant adorable," for she was, without a 
doubt, the most promising of his many pupils. 

One day she came to his cozy studio for her 
lesson and expressed her delight at finding the 
Signor in better spirits. "Ah, Signor!" she 
said. "I am delighted to find you so happy. 
Do you know, I often used to wonder why the 
heart of my old professor should always be so 
sad." 

Signor Bottini raised himself up in his chair, 
straight as an arrow, and said, with much feeling- 
Felice, my past has man ir tender memories and 
the poet strikes the proper keynote when he 
sings: 

"There is in each life some time or spot, 
Some hour or moment of night or day, 
That never grows dim and is never foigot 



64 



THB PROPBSSOR'S SKCRET. 



Like an unfaded leaf in a dead bouquet. 
Some rare season, however brief, 

That stands forever and aye the same— 
A sweet, bright picture in bas-relief 
Hanging before us iu Memory's frame." 
Felice I,aporte stood like one transfixed, star- 
ing into space and did not seem to under- 
stand or catch the meaning of those words. 

When the lesson was over Signor Bottini rose 
from the piano and cbmplained of being dizzy. He 
walked a few steps; a strange, wild look crept 
into his face— he tottered from side to side then 
staggered and fell to the floor with a heavy 
crash. Felic uttered a wild cry and Angelico, 
upon hearing the noise, quickly ran upstaire. 

"What is the matter, Madamoiselle?" he 
gasped. 

"The Signor has fainted. I am afraid he is 
dying," cried Felice, distractedly. -Run for 
the priest and the doctorl Quick, Angelicol 
There's not a moment So lose) Run for your 
very life!" 

Felice, poor girt, was trembling like a leaf. 
She tried to arouse the poor man but alas! it was 
useless. Father O'Brien and Dr. McCabe ar- 
nved in a few minutes and lifted the dying man 
to the couch. 

"Is there any danger to life, Doctor?" asked 



THK PROFESSOR'S SKCRBT. Q5 

mfn?^ ^"*' "'"^"'•'" "--"-'y. after a few 
HoV ' a j;^^: t^ ^ !- --, condi. 

a^«I^cst...-,trHa.et^-rrr 
aee' his left arm is paralyzed!" 

TL^ ^" Signor^he poor Signer!" 

and she wept convulsively. '^■snori 

There was some talk, later, of taking him to 
the hjpatal but Felice interposed, "if^y^'^^ 
aie. Father," she pleaded "le^ i« k- T 

here, m this very room, surrounded on all sides 

by h,s books! Let it be here in the light of^ 

• 'f^'^" f .^-''^-here in the presence of Ws J^r 

pmno-h« life's best friend, whose heaiitnWs 

hrartTsr:"" 'r T "''"^' •-'^oningtouS 
his artist-t ,gers! I will stay with him until the 

I will be a fnendtohim, not only for my sake 
but also for the sake of Hortense " A nT »7i ^u 
long Fell w.,hedand pjy^jat fh;d:^^S 
of her fnend and benefactor. 

Three weeks had passed and, in the comae of 

^hadmadegreatprogress. Dr. McCabel^ 
»«« than pleased and would say laughing^ 



THE PROFESSOR'S SECRET. 



"Felice, it was your good nursing that saved 
him." 

The Signor's return to condousness was grad- 
ual and, now that his senses were perfectly re- 
stored, he conversed freely with his many pupils, 
who daily swarmed around his bedside to spend 
a few minutes with their dear old professor. 
Another month glided by. Signor Bottini was 
still very weak and had not yet left his bed. 
Surgeons and neurologists were called in— every- 
thing was tried to restore movement and sensa- 
tion to his paralyzed arm. Rest, massage, elec 
tricity — all had so far proven useless and dame 
Rumor now had it that the Signor would never 
get the use of his arm — ^that he would never play 
the pipe-organ in old St. Patrick's again. 

One afternoon the professor sent for the organ- - 
ist who was relieving him at the cathedral and 
who, was an ex-pupil of his, saying that he had 
something of importance to tell him. ' 'You see, 
Richter," he began, when he arrived, "on 
Thursday of next week Father O'Brien will cele- 
brate an anniversary Requiem for the repose of 
the soul of Mile. Hortense Laporte and I would 
like to have the occasion marked with special 
music, for she was a faithful and staunch mem- 
ber of the choir. My new Requiem Mass has 
not yet been produced and I would like to have 
it sung on that day. Several months ago, just 



THK PROFESSOR'S SECRET. 07 

before I took sick, they knew the Mass perfectlv 
and one or two rehearsals this week wTtKS 
cho,r W.11 be preparation quite sufficirt •* ' 
Richte ' ?£• '■* " '-P^-iWe.- exclaimed 
.*rtS' he "° ""* *''"* •' '^P^We of tak- 

ing the heavy soprano solo parts. Some of Til 
passages are extremely difficult and tty ri^' 
a -^-vo.ce for their proper ^ndition^^"'" 

wanting whe.rproperlrj^::.^'-''^ 



Chapter III. 



Father O'Brien and Signor Bottini were alone 
in the studio. The professor had just gone to 
confession and received. The morning was 
bright and rosy and, outside of the study widow, 
a gay little robin was chirping its blithe and 
cheerful matin-son^. The room was filled 
with the odor of roses and carnations, for, flow- 
ers were everywhere in evidence. The Signor 
loved them and his pupils knew it and every 
morning brought a fresh quota of the choicest 
blossoms from the down-town conservatories. 
The little robin outside was soon joined by his 
mate and together they now held forth in love's 
sweet serenade. 

"Listen to the robins. Father!" at last broke 
forth Bottini. "There is a simplicity in their 
song that makes it all the more beautiful. They 
carol forth the music of hope — 

"And hope like the rainbow of summer. 
Gives a promise of Lethe at last. " 

"Sing on, O birds! I love your voices. You 
bring me the joy and the peace of a happy heart 
and your song teems with the freshness and 
purity of rich mountain air." 
(68) 



THE PROFESaOR'S SBCRBT. 69 

There was a faint Up at the door and in walked 
Fehceand. with her there came a Koodly 
amount of sunshine. She looked beautiful as 
she stood in the doorway-the crisp mominR 
air had brought the color to her cheeks. 

"Good morning, Father O'Brien! You are 
an early caller. What do you think of my pa- 
tient?" and Felice smiled sweetiy and a ripple of 
giriish laughter burst from her bright, ruby-red 

"Felice, you are a capital nurse," replied the 
pnest, good naturedly. "In fact, I would not 
hesitate placing myself under your care-pro- 
yiding you did the nursing and I all the boss- 
ing. • Then he laughed a hearty laugh that 
was contagious, for even Bottini himself could 
not resist. 

"I suppose, Signor, you were wondering what 
had happened me," Felice began, addressing 
Bottini. "Well, this morning you were fas* 
asleep and I glided out silently, with my music 
roll, over to mother's. She had not heard my 
voice in many weeks and I was going to give 
her a concert, all to herself— poor thingi I sang 
the Jewel Song from Faust, Gounod's Ave Maria 
and my solo parts in your new Mass for the dead 
Mother was simply delighted with my progresi 
and you don't know how her face brightened 
when I sang. But, when she spoke of Hortense 



10 



. THR PROPKSSOK'S SKCRRT. 



■ 



her voice trembled and there was a hint of Bor- 
row in it." 

O.'^"' T'm, *'*""'" "•**'~'y »^ke in Father 
OBrien. 'will you not sing a bit for me, this 
mommg? I have not heard you for a year past " 
The good priest was very sympathetic and he 
was afraid that if the conversation were to go on 
thus, he could not help but give vent to his 
fedings. "Come." he added, "sing me Gon- 
nod's Ave Maria!" 

Felice seated herself at the piano and sang the 
selection beautifully, with all becoming dignity 
and grace The priest listened eageriy-so did 
the noble Signor but alasl the latter's thoughts 
were elsewhere. Before him, there loomed a 
picture of Hortense in the old choir loft. He 
hin«elf, was at the organ; below, several thou- 
sand people were listening eagerly to that self- 
same Ave Maria, their heads bowed down in 
prayer. Father O'Brien was at the alta^-and 
all this alasl seemed but yesteniay. 

•'Well done, child!" lovingly said the priest 
•sFehce rose and left the piano. "It was a 
capital and faultless rendition and I compli- 
mentyou." 

Signor Bottini raised his head. There was a 
distant, far-away look in his eyes and he seem- 
ed to have suddenly awakened from a dream. 
"Signor!" asked the priest. "How long be- 



r i 



THR PROPRSSOR's SRCRRT. 



71 



here, takes her place in the 
« nigh perfect now, me- 



fore your protegee, 
choir? Her voice 
thinks." 

•^f«*verylong~_be£ore very long." .n.. 
wered Botttni. somewhat distractedly ».ij 
ttoTd*", °'^r^^" -•'-nged^r^Si bu?o" 

s:urarTX'^"--"-^— o-p.;; 

The afternoon passed quieUy and evenino- 
^me with its dark, heavy shadows and hou«o! 
peace. The cathedral clock had just struck "hi 
hour of eight, when Felice rose from Te table 
and approached the professor's couch and «S 
S^or. I will now run over to church anr«; 
to confession, before the crowd comes M«a 
and I will both receive tomoC it " t[ 

OBrien will sing a Solemn Re<,„ie„, Mass f^ 

"But stay, child stay for .few minutes long- 

t!^«J JT'**'""* *° *«" you-^„.ethin. 
to ask you before you go. •• iuterrupted Bot^n^ 

Felice drew nearer. Her face was pale anrf 
shefeltasif her heart had suddenly stLS 
Wag. Signor Bottini raised himiif'^S^ 
on his conch. A weird look stole into hi 
blo<^.shot eyes and he began nervoSty "5eli« 
the time has come and I am going to rev^ ^ 
y<m the secret that lies hiddej in my h^No 



72 



-TMK PROFB8SOII '8 HXCKIT. 



i:r 



ears have htud and none shall hear but thine 
Would to God that I could preside at the organ 
to-morrow, I would play as I never plaved before, 
for the sake of Hortenae— fnnocent, white dove I 
I aee yon are aurpriawl and I may tell you 
now that I loved Hortenae— loved her with all 
the tenderness of my poor heart and yet she 
never knew, for I never told her." 

"Loved Hortenae my— •ister?" interrupted 
Felice almost wildly. "Is it possible?" 

"Possible? Yes, Fplice," he went on. "And 
listen— to-morrow morning, my new Requiem 
Mass is to be sung in dear old St Patrick's for 
the first time. Herr Rich^ has held rehearsals 
with the choir during the week. I promised that 
I would supply the soloist for the occasion and, 
Fehce, I am going to ask you to take your place 
in the choir, to-morrow morning, for the first 
time, to sing the solo parts of my new Mass. " 

Felice drew back like a startled dove. "To 
sing to-morrow, when the memory of Hortenae 
will be so fresh, within my heart? How can I— 
why do you ask?" 

"I ask, Felice, because I wrote that Requiem 
inhonorofHortenseand dreamed, one day in 
the past, that it would be sung on the anni- 
versary of her death. I cannot go because my 
arm is paralyied. Everything is ready and you, 
alone, are capable of singing the soprano solo 



THK PROPKSSORS SKCIIKT. 73 

W If you say no. Felice, the new Ma« 
cannot go on. Will you go. Felice?" 

Fehce stood speechless and her eyes seemed 
tobeg^ing far over the n,isty hoSTn T^hl 
P«J. She waited an infant and the tears were 
gathering ,n her eyes. Then, determined 1<^ 

"S'thf%-^'';7''''* '-^ ••"» -•>« ~s; 



Craptsr IV. 



n 



The pearly gates of the morning opened and 
ushered in a perfect day. Signor Bottini turned 
nervously on his couch and a look of sadness 
came into his eyes. He had been sitting up in 
his easy chair every afternoon for the past two 
weeks and Dr. McCabe reversed matters a 
little now and tol^ Felice that the professor 
might sit up in the morning if he wished. This 
came as a blessing to the Signor. "Put my 
chair close up to the window this morning," he 
said to Felice, "so that I will be able to hear the 
singing and the music. And, Felice, when you 
go to church, tell the sexton to open the large 
window in the choir loft so that I will be able to 
hear it all the better." 

When Felice was reajdy to go, the professor 
took her hand in his and said: "Felice, my 
child, now do your best Remember that Hor- 
tense in heaven is listening." 

The church bells had ceased ringing and now 
came the sounds of the organ — heaving and 
mighty as the ocean. Bottini trembled and 
looked at his paralyzed arm. Then tears came 
to him and he bowed his head and remained in 
(74) 



THK professor's SECRET. 



76 



this attitude for some time. The Requiem 
Aeternam and Kyrie had been sung and Signor 
Bottini had heard every word. Then he raised 
his eyes to heaven and his lips moved in prayer. 
Out upon the air, again, came the swelling 
notes of the great organ. A noble chorus of 
male voices reverently answered the chant of 
Father O'Brien, at the altar. Then there was 
a pause until the clear, diapason notes played 
the beautiful prelude to the Dies Irae. Signor Bot- 
tini raised himself and listened eagerly. Felice 
was singing and the words floated out upon the 
wings of the morning, clear and distinct: 
"Dies Irae, dies ilia 
Solvet saeclum in favilla, 
Teste David cum Sibylla. 
Quantus tremor est futurus 
Quando Judex est ventt'Tua, 
Cuncta stricte discussurusi" 
Low and sweet was the air at first, rising and 
falling till the mighty, roaring, voluminous voice 
filled every nook of that imposing edifice. There 
were no grand-opera trills and triplets, no fairy- 
like cadenzas in the selection. It was nothing 
but a grand, simple, pleading, touching air- 
one that came from the heart; one that went di- 
rectly to the heart. A look of satisfaction crept 
into the Signor's wearied face when Felice had 
finiahed. Then the full choir of sixty voices took 



76 



THK PROFESSOR'S SBCRKT. 



if' 



up the strain. It was full of power and majesty 
and Bottini could hardly sit it out. His face 
twitched; he became resUess and be moved 
around nervously in his chair. He could stand 
it no longer. 

"I must gol I must," he gasped, as he rose 
from his chair and threw his heavy cloak about 
him. "I feel that God is urging me to go— " 
and he opened the door and made for the stairs. 
He felt weak but the thought of what he was 
about to do seemed «o bring surplus strength to 
his body. 

When Bottini reached the church door he was 
panting for br-ath. "I must! I must!" he still 
gasped, as he entered the church and made for 
the steps that led to the gallery. The Dies Irae 
was still being sung, and now came the last few 
sentences, in a faint, trembling voice: 
"Pie Jesu Domine, 
Dona eis requiem I " 

When the Amen was sung. Signer Bottini 
staggered into the gallery and made for the organ. 
His breath came in interruptions. He whispered 
something to Herr Richter, then turned and 
faced Felice and smiled gently. In a moment 
Bottini himself was at the organ, playing most 
beautifully— playing as he had never played be- 
fore. His paralyzed arm hung helpless at his 
side— his right hand was on the keyboard. Herr 



THE PKOFESSOR'S SECRET. 77 

Richter had charge of the stops. The Signer 
looked strong and every one in that vast cathe- 
dral s«^med to recognize the strange power that 
swayed the keys and pedals of the organ. Now 
he was playing a delicate, distant-sounding aria 
-It was so sweet, so clear and tender and it 
seemed as if the heavens had suddenly opened 
and an angel was singing a song of peace and 
joy to the silent, praying multitude below. Then 
came the voice of the officiating priest and Bottini 
sent back answer from the organ. 

The Sanctus and Agnus Dei <A the new Mass 
were beautifully rendered, and then followed the 
Ivibera. This was, without a doubt, the heaviest 
part of the composition, and during its rendition 
Ssignor Bottini 's strength at the organ gave way 
Herr Richter begged to replace him, but the 
Signor only shook his head, smiled gently and 
then played on. 

The last notes of the Libera had just died 
away when Father O'Brien raised the censer 
several times and sang: 

"Requiem aetemam. dona ei, Dominel" 
Signor Bottini raised his eyes to heaven im- 
plonngly and played, as the choir answered: 
"Et lux perpetua luceat ei." 
His face was of a deathly, ashen hue and on 



78 



' THB pkopbssor's sbckxt. 



hw forehead several large beads of penpiratkm 
were shining. Aiyain the iwiest chanted: 

"Reqniescat in pacel" 

But the choir did not sing the leaponse. There 
was only a shrill, sharp cry. It was the cry of 
a woman and several men sprang forward just as 
the noble Signer's head fell on the organ. They 
lifted him back. His wrist was pulseless and, 
on his face, there was the expression of a smile.' 
Within dear old St Patrick's all was regret and 
sorrow, but within t^e soul of Signor Francesco 
Bottini, heaven's brightest sunbeams of peace, 
and happiness eternal were just then shining. 



ONE EASTER AT HiOHMORE. 



Chapter I. 
On a cold October morning in the early eight- 
t«. the humble little rectory at Highmore held 
two happy hearts. The final, decisive words 
that made Kenneth Cameron and Cedle Emery 
man and wife had just b:en spoken, and in the 
ey^ of good old Father Franci»-God rest his 
soul_th«e lurked a look of intense joy. Often 
in the twilight, he had knelt before the altar 
holding sweet converse with his God, askine 
blessings for his children of the parish, and 
Cecile s name was never forgotten. Often he 
wondered whether she would really many Cam- 
won. He was rich, but what after all were 
nches, when the man she loved possessed not 
even the priceless pearl of faith? 

Kenneth Cameron was a man about thirty-five 
well preserved and quite good looking, and in 
his open, frank countenance there was a look of 
strong determination. His father had been a 
minister in a little village surrounded by Scottish 
hills, and shepherds who tended their flocks on 
the hills were his parishoners. He was a good 
(78) ' 



80 



ONB BASTBR AT HIGHMORB. 



honest, old soul, and when Kenneth, his only 
child, kissed him good-bye years ago and left 
Scotland to made a fortune in other lands, his 
heart nearly broke. Kenneth came right to 
Highmore; he was poor then, but he had pluck, 
back-bone and endurance; and thus.^in a few 
years, he had made and saved quite a fortune. 
Now, he was the wealthiest man in the city, and 
his marriage to pretty Cecile Emery— the bright- 
est rose in all the country-side — was just, at this 
moment, the general* topic of the hour. Cecile 
Emery came of good, sound Catholic stock, was 
quite accomplished, and in every way suited to 
become the wife of Highmore's wealthy broker. 
"May God bless you bothi". Father Francis 
saic! thoughtfully, as they were about to leave 
the rector>-. "And remember your promise, 
Kenneth I You have plucked the fairest flower 
in all my parish and I hope that bitter sorrows 
may never mar or blight its beauty — good-bye 1" 
And he shook hands with both of them vigorous- 
ly and closed the door. When they were gone, 
Father Francis sank down before a statue of the 
Blessed I^y and prayed that the man, whom he 
had just made happy, might not be lost, and 
some day would receive the gift of faith. Cecile 
was a saint of earth, bethought, and surely her 
pure, Christian character would do much to 
this end. Words and exhortations had been use- 



ONB EASTER AT HIGHMORS. 81 

ieas. They had fallen on barren, hard rocks. 
Cecile had married the man she loved; she was 
happy, but, in all her joy, there was the under- 
tone of a regret, and she dreamed of the future 
and wondered in her soul if her dream would 
ever come true. 

For days and days Father Francis' words ranir 
in Kenneth's ears. "Remembei your promisel" 
the strange, mystic voices said, and he could 
not hush them. "Perhaps, in some far-off day 
these self-same voices would remind him of his 
sacred pledge. Let us hope that, when they did 
speak, he heard themi 

Thirteen years had passed. The Camerons 
were still counted the wealthiest family in High- 
more, and, to outward appearances, really de- 
served the distinction. Kenneth had changed 
little in these years, and Clyde, his young son 
now ten years old. was the dead picture of him ' 
Cecile had changed much in looks. One would 
hardly have known her, with htr trouble, sad 
face. The years were weaving light silver 
strands through her hair, and no one in all 
Highmore but herself knew the reason. Ken- 
neth had been a traitor to the promise he had 
made to Father Francis years ago, and this was 
the strange power that made her so unhappy 
The fires of bigotry that had been burning in 
Kenneth's soul, lit up in all their virulence, one 



Oiin SASTSft AT HXOBMOUI. 



morning after breakfast. The baby was a montb 
old and had not yet been baptised, and CecUe's 
■nfiering, mother-heart was bleeding with an* 
guish. 

"Don't you think it is time baby was being 
baptized, Kenneth?" she asked, gladly. 

' ' Baby baptized?' ' he interrupted hotly. ' 'Ce- 
dle, are you going mad? Baby baptized — ^well 
hardlyl That boy will go to his father's church, 
so you can put all your little scrupka aside, ' ' he 
added, sarcastically, i 

The color in Cecile's cheeks reddened, and for 
the moment she was stunned. She thought that 
she had known Kenneth, but now, alasl she 
divined in him another man. After a few min- 
utes, she was quite composed and said, in a 
trembling vmce. ' ' But your promise , Kenneth I 
Have you forgotten how you promised Father 
Itands that if any children should be bom to 
us, they were to be baptized and raised Catho- 
lics. Have you forgotten so soon? It pains me 
deeply." 

"Promiacsconnt for nothing," he stammered 
forth scornfully. "I never for one moment, in- 
tended to do it, anyway — and, pshawl the priest 
is dead." 

"The priest is dead, 'tis true, and more's the 
jnty," added Cecile sadly. "But, Kenneth, 
there were other ears than his that heard the 



ONK BASTSR AT HIOHlfOM. 88 

promise. There is a God in heaven and H. 

-l«r^ "«» ' •» «l*d that the;:! ^,t 
remembers your words still. • • •« wno 

"Enough of this nonsense— this oW «,-,» 
talk I" ■hnnii.j r> =s"ac uis oia-woman 

look «» H ^*^*"° ""*"''• •»«' tJ'««was a 

look of deep scorn in his eyes. "My child will 
never-never. I «.y_be baptized by a priesT" 
-ndlje stormed out of the room in 7gr^S 'of 

neS'r"?^!!' """^ *^'* '*'"*^' decile had 
never again, except on a few. thoughtless 

occ«.ons. mentioned baptism or knythbgpT 
Jimng to Clyde's condition, and. wh« she C 

2^ w«i' 5i'j" " ^" ^"^ ^"1«» break. b« 
rte was afraid, and sealed her lipa for Z 
Mke of her child-for peace afJr on 

»ciaimed Mother, poor Tim Flannagan next 
door has just died I w,. „ ,,, beds-^;;^ 

HWe. pale fingen,. and ih.a kissed me good-bye 

aep^«t from the Catl.elr,i prav.d ^tU poor 
IW aU mommg^Poor VimI how . will S 
h.ml He was about the only boy I ever kuew 

;^ T,f~i" Clydeco«lc„ot.p.akaS 
word, for the deathbed scene he hs^ jn^w^ 



84 



dint XAWBS AT HIOHMOBS. 



neaaed, had made him think of too many thing* 
and he bunt into tears, and the kindly ring of 
his mother's voice conld not assuage the pain of 
his little, wounded heart 

After some time Clyde's little tain of tears was 
over, but the feelings of deep sorrow still pene- 
trated his soul, for he realized that he had lost 
the first little friend of his heart's kingdom, and 
that for years to come there would be an empty 
place nothing could fill. 



M 



■\ I: 



II: 



Chaptkr II. 
On the evening before Tim', funeral, the Cam- 

when Mr. Cameron suddenly ro«e. after consult- 
ing hw watch, and exclaimed: "By jove. Cecilel 
lalmost forgot It is past seven, and I should 
have been at the office long ago. fixing np my 
monthly stotement. " ^ f f 

"Since you will be away then for some time " 
interposed Mrs. Came.on. "Clyde and I will 
tt*e « mn over to Flannagan's. Clyde so 
wishes to see poor little Tim before he is taken 

have liked to have taken Clyde to church with 
her in the morning, but she was afraid lest her 
husband might enact another scene in their 
household drama. The very mention of it 
would bring forth suchavolley of abusive, sarcas- 
tic words that Cecile once more smothered those 
teelings that her honest heart had known so well. 
When Clyde and his mother returned from 
the Hannagan-s, neither spoke. Their heart, 
were too full for utterance. Clyde was .sitting 
ma rocker before the fire place, running his 
fingers carelessly through an open book, while 
(86) 



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86 



ONB EASTER AT BIGHMORB. 



his mother's lips moved silently and her fingers 
counted pearly beads that lay hid in the hiuid> 
kerchief on her lap. 

Presently Clyde broke out tenderly : ' ' Mother, 
why won't you let me go to the Sisters' school, 
so that when I am sick they will come to me 
and pray for me, like they ilid at Tim's sick bed? 
I am not like other boys at all, and I just hate 
my old tutor. He never mentions God's name 
to me and it all seems so strange, and now I am 
nearly eleven years old — and, ohi how I do wish 
I could say half the prayers that those children 
do. And, mother, I would like to go to your 
chtu-ch on Sundays and do just what you do and 
learn to pray to Mary, like Tim used to do. 
Bven if father does get ingry, I don't care — I 
want to be just like Tim 

".'here was a momentary pause. "Never mind 
my boy, my prayer, I am sure will some day be 
answered." she said, "and then everything will 
be all right." 

"But I want to learn how to pray, now," he 
interrupted. "That some day may be too late 
for me, mother. I want to be one of Mary's 
children, like Tim, and when I know how to 
pray, I will have much to ask for." 

The clock struck eleven. "Come, Clyde" Mrs. 
Cameron said, sweetly, "it is time you were in 
bed." When the child was ready to retire, he 



ONB BASTBK AT HIGHMORB. 



87 



came to his mother, climbed on her knees, and 
whispered into herears: "The prayers, mothcrl 
teach me your "Our Father," and that "Hail, 
Mary," to-nightl I am sure poor Tim needs a 
prayer. Let my first one be for him. ' ' 

Mrs. Cameron kissed the little red lips and 
then went to the boy's room closed the door 
gently and said in a trembling voice: "Re- 
member, Clyde! that your father hears nothing 
of this. Come, let us kneel down together. ' ' 

The moonbeams stole through the fine lace 
curtains and threw their light upon Clyde's 
golden, curly hair, as he blessed himself and 
repeated, word after word, the "Our Father." 

Just then the front door opened and in walked 

Mr. Cameron. The house was unusually quiet, 

and thinking Cecile and Clyde were fast asleep,' 

he took off his overcoat and tip-toed into the 

drawing room, so as not to disturb their slumb- 
ers. 

That very moment the voice of a child came 
ringing across the hallway— it was sweet and 
tender, just likethi first song of a young bird in 
spring— and the words stole into the drawing 
room, reverently and distinctly: "And lead us 
not— into temptation— but deliver us from evil 
— amen. There was only a momentary silence 



,V 



88 



ONE EASTKK AT HIGHMORE. 



— a slight pause and the two began again : ' ' Hail , 
Mary, full of grace— " 

Kenneth Cameron stood still for a moment, 
a dark shadow crept into his pale face; his teeth 
were set and there was a wild look in his eyes, as he 
tip- toed across the hall and then stood at the door 
of Clyde's room. It was partly closed, and there, 
in the comer, he saw all. There was Clyde in- 
his white robe, and beside him knelt Cecile, 
and his boy was being taught how to chatter 
"papist" prayers. Was it possible? The fires 
of a fierce hatred were consuming Cameron's 
soul. His muscles twitched; he could hardly 
stand it out. Out upon the silence again came 
the voice of the child, — "Holy Mary — Mother 
of God — pray for us sinners — " The excited 
man bit his lips in anger. "Oh, I cannot 
stand it," he thought, "the idea of teaching my 
boy to pray to a woman! I will yet bend Cecile 's 
haughty will and she will yet have to cower 
down in the dust at my feet and beg my pardon. ' ' 
A thousand thoughts flashed through his mind. 
Now came the sweet voices of mother and child. 
They were making the sign of the cross — "In 
the name of the Father — and of the Son — ' ' Ken- 
neth Cameron thought of his promise to poor 
Father Francis, thirteen years ago, and again 
he brushed it away carelessly. The battle was 
on. It had reached the climax. He could 



ONH KASTEK AT HIGHMORE. 



89 



not Stay the wild impulses of his haughty nature 
—his face was the picture of a madman's, and 
in he darted, into the very room where mother 
and child were kneeling, and roughly snatched 
the little one from the floor, amid a cry of curses 
that would have put to shame even Lucifer him- 
self. 

"Cecile Emery." he groaned, "let this night 
put an end to all your foolish fanciesi That boy 
will never be a Catholic and mumble monoton- 
ous prayers and bend his knee to the priest, and 
if yoa persist in making my life uncomfortable 
I will tear your heart in two. You do not de- 
serve my love and you are degraded in my eyes 
for having planned and schemed and plotted 
against me and my child when my back -is 
turned. By heaven, I swear! you shall yei ,uf. 
fer for this!" Clyde stood transfixed— a wit- 
ness to another act of high society drama— and 
in his eyes the tears gathered fast. 

Mrs. Cameron knelt at the bedside. Her eyes 
were dry, and her hands held fast her throbbine 
temples. 

"Cecile," he shrieked, "do you hear me with 
your mumbling witchery of prayer? Remem- 
ber, this night ends your trickery with that 
child!" and*' stormed out of their sight and 
paced the hi .th the fury of a caged lion. 

When he was gone, Clyde stole over to his 



■f . . 



1 4. 



90 



UNK KASTUK AT HIGHMORR. 



mother's side, put his trembling, childish arms 
around her neck, and planted a kiss on her fev- 
erish cheeks. Then in the moonlight, he knelt 
down again beside her and, I really believe, bis 
lips moved in prayer. 






Chapter III. 

Two months had passed and the Cameron 
house was bright and cheerful as ever. Ken- 
neth seemed to have forgotten all about the fatal 
night, and Cecile tried very hard to forget. 
Every day she made a visit to St. Peter's and 
God only knows what her thoughts were. 

One day, eariy in February, when steel-gray 
skies were dull and cheerless, Cecile stood at her 
window, gazing down the long, empty, desolate 
street. It had just begun snowing a little and 
the streets were very slippery. She had sent 
Clyde T.ith a message to the grocer's, and he 
had not returned, though he had been gone a 
full hour. Just then, the ambulance swept 
around the corner, and for an instant a mighty 
fear swayed her inmost feelings. The ambulance 
halted before her very doors. She felt dizzy; 
everything was moving around her and she 
came near falling to the floor, but she held fast 
to a chair standing near by. She stared through 
the window almost wildly; she saw her husband, 
and then came the ambulance surgeons carrying 
an almost lifeless, pale body on a stretcher. The 
door opened, she stared at the men; she could 
(91) 



\ i 



it 
if 



92 



ONK KASTKK AT Hir.HMORK. 



not Speak; she stared at the being on the stretch- 
er — it was tlie body of a child. She threw her 
hands into the air and shrieked. "My God! it 
is Clyde — "she moaned, as .she sank into Ken- 
neth's strong arms. 

Another of the many accidents that take place 
in our large cities had occurred, and again, as 
usual, the unhappy victim was a poor, little, un- 
suspecting child. Clyde, on his way home, 
tried to hurry over the King street crossing just 
as a west-bound car wks coming up a number of 
yards behind him. The streets had just frozen 
hard after a thaw, and the poor lad slipped and 
fell with the back of his head upon one of the 
iron rails. It was an awful fall; the child was 
dazed and uttered a sickly cry. A policeman 
saw the child falling and made for the crossing. 
The motorman also saw the boy lying there, 
and tried to stop the car; it was going at a slow 
speed, thank God! Clyde's body would have 
been crushed under the wheels had not the 
policeman's strong arms just then been active. 
The child was in a state of collapse, and restor- 
atives were administered, until the ambulance 
arrived that was to convey the little sufferer to 
his home. 

All next day Clyde lay in his little cot, to all 
appearances dead. His breathing was shallow; 
his little pulse almost imperceptible. Not a word 



ONK KASTKK AT HIGHMOKE. 



93 






had yet passed his lips, and he seemed to be in a 
continual stupor. Dr. Von Hartmann the emi- 
nent specialist, had been called into the Cameron 
house, several days after, by the family physi- 
cian, and upon examining the child, the famous 
German professor at once said: "My dear people, 
I am very sorry, the child will die; its chances to 
live are very meagre. The symptoms at first 
were those of concussion of the brain, but during 
the last twenty four hours meningitis has set in, 
and this makes the prognosis so unfavorable. I 
have seen quite a few traumatic cases and, out of 
their number, only two recovered." 

Mrs. Cameron was almost wild; the excite- 
ment had been too much for her. If Clyde 
would only speak how much better she would 
feel, and then to think that her only child had 
to die — and to die unbaptized. O horrible 
thoughtl The agony of it sickened her deeply, 
but she bore up bravely and found a consolation 
in prayer. Three weeks had passed and Clyde's 
condition had not changed much, although Dr. 
/on Hartmann seemed more hopeful. She how- 
ever, resolved to make a novena to the Mother 
of God, and one morning she placed a little, 
white, marble statue of the Virgin at Clyde's bed- 
side. Before this, a candle was to burn all day 
and night. She cared not what Kenneth would 
say, but she expected a few words of reproach 



M 



ONR KASTKK AT HItiHMORB. 



\ i 



from him that afternoon. But strange to 
say, he saw the statue and burning candle and 
not a word passed his lips, and Cecile was glad, 
for she felt that his cold, icy heart was begin- 
ning to thaw. Perhaps the sight of the sick child 
had put a check on his tongue, so as not to 
desecrate the serenity of the sick chamber. 

One evening, shortly after the lights were 
turned low, Mr and Mrs. Cameron watched at 
the bed of their sick child. Clyde moved around 
nervously on his pillowi, his soft blue eyes opened , 
and for a moment he gazed into the two tear- 
stained faces over him; then his lips moved, for 
the first time since the accident, and he whisp- 
ered: 

"Hail, Mary, full of grace—." Again, he 
raised his fingers to his forehead, as if to bless 
himself, and a stupid, faraway look came to his 
face, and his hand fell down helpless at his side. 
Cecile wept bitterly, and upon Kenneth's 
troubled face there was a look, as if a storm wer« 
brewing within his soul. 

The days wore on, and dark, cheerless days 
they were, but they were getting somewhat 
brighter. Clyde seemed more himself; he was 
less drowsy and tried to speak with great fervoi , 
but then, almost as suddenly, his mind would 
become a blank. Yet, all in all, the doctors were 
well pleased with his condition. . Day by day his 



ONK BASTRR AT HlQHMORB. 



95 



power of speech grew stronger, and he would 
converse quite freely with thobe around him 
Notone moment washe free from pain, and, when 
his temperature ran up and wild, fever tempests 
consumed his energy, then he would sink into 
a low, muttering delirium, and often, very often 
raise his fingers to his forehead, and there thev 
remained until tired and exhausted he fell asleep. 
One afternoon, when he awoke out of a re- 
freshing sleep, he motioned his lather to his bed- 
side, and said, in a slow, weak voice: 'Father, 
I am not going to get better, and I am going to 
ask you one favor before I die. It is the last I 
wiU ever ask of you," and he halted asif tocatch 
his breath. 

"Go on, my dear," said Mr. Cameron. 
"I would like to have Father Doyle come to 
see me," the child continued, "so that he could 
speak to me the way he spoke to poor Tim one 
afternoon when I was there. He Hos such a 
warm heart, and he will make me very happy. 
Will you go for him. Father?" 

"Yes, my child, I will have him come" he 
answered. 

"I wish, father, that you yTurself would go 
for him, ' Clyde interrupted. 

Kenneth Cameron's eyes opened widely: he 
waited an instant, then he said nervously, "I 
wUl, my boy I" Cecile overheard the convetsa- 



96 



ONK KASTKK AT HIUHMURR. 



tton, and in her soul a fresh, new light was juat 
then shining. 

Good old Father Doyle— be of the gentle face 
and snow-white hair — eamt daily to »ee Clyde, 
and stayed long hours to speak and read to him. 
After one of these visits, Clyde said to his father; 
"I don't know, but every time I see Father 
Doyle coming in the doorway, my heart gives a 
jump, and all the pains iu my back leave me 
just as rapidly as they came. His kin^ voice 
and his gentle smile do more for me than Doctor 
Von Hartma in does with electricity and drugs. 
And, oh, fataer, I am so hap^jy, for I am get- 
ting to be more like Tim Flannagan every day" 
— and he smiled gently. It was the first smile 
Mrs. Cameron had seen on Clyde's face all dur- 
ing his illness, and that smile lit up theaarkness 
and the gloom of all her succeeding days. 

A great change was also coming over Kenneth. 
He had taken o£f the mask of his other self, and 
in Cecile's eyes was again the upright, manly 
heart and ardent lover of those early years. One 
day the little tallow candle on the table in front 
of the Virgin's statue went out, and to Cecile's 
great surprise, Kenneth himself lit it. And with 
that same match the Virgin, herself, lit the fires 
of faith and understanding that were smoulder- 
ing in his soul, while the embers of his former' 
vague, religious persuasions were turning cold in 
death. 



Chahtkr IV. 



It wanted but two weeks of Easter. aiiU High- 
more, with its rich avenues of spruce trees. wa.s 
Ijeginning to look its prettiest. The lawns were 
changing to green in the sunlit .;, the birds were 
returning in flocks, and flowers wea ever>-where 
beginning to push their heads throu,-h the wet 
earth. April's coming had been vcy welcome 
and still he lingered, breathing fresh lifr into 
valley and meadow, and, from his golden c' ice 
wreathed with the buds and blossoms of sprinjr' 
he poured forth fresh, cooling showers. It was 
a grand awakening, and it spoke to Kenneth 
Cameron's .soul more deeply and more clearly 
than words or actions had ever done. He, too 
felt an awakening, but it was an awakening of 
the soul— an awakening, profound and majestic 
He was beginning to think of eternal .springs and 
eternal sunshines, and he stood at the gates of 
the dreaded Dawn, no longer the doubter and 
scoffer, but the believer, ready to pass out into 
the perfect day of prophetic faith— a day filial 
with joy and love and peace. 

Mrs. Cameron was also breathing ea.sier, for 
Dr. Von Hartniann had expressed every hope of 
(97) 



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98 



ONK KASYKK AT HIGHMOKK. 



! ■ S 



i i ; i i 



Clyde's recovery. The pains had left his back, 
the temperature was down to normal, his mental 
faculties were perfectly restored, and the only 
remnant of the old disease was a slight head- 
ache, that he experienced at times. But the 
jKMjr child was only a shadow of his former self, 
yet mother and father were both over joyed to 
know that God had spared their little one. Clyde 
grew stronger daily and vvas now sitting up in 
bed, and, when Dr. Von Hartmann promised the 
lad a drive with his ^father on Easter Sunday, 
the acme of childish happiness was reached. 

One evening just as Mr. Cameron was going 
out the front door, his wife called him back: 
"Kenneth, are you going out again? My! we 
haven't had you home with us one evening since 
the middle of March, and this seems so strange, 
for you never went out much before. Kenneth, 
I am beginning to have strange misgivings." 
"Calm yourself, Cecile ! " he answered smiling- 
ly. "You see I am so busy, and I have come 
home so often during the day since Clyde's ill- 
ness, that my work is never finished. I am, just 
now, balancing accounts and soon, my dear, I 
will be able to hand you the receipts." "To 
hand me the receipts," Cecile thought. "What 
did he mean? Had he been in financial straits 
that she knew nothing of?" 

Cameron, in parting, only smiled, and I won- 



ONE EASTEK AT HK.HMORE. 99 

tblthL^l t expenenced spiritual difficulties^ 

sett inl K T""*'''"^ °^' »"d J'e thought of 
settling a debt, which he owed her. It all «.ml 
about in this way: '^'"^ 

wJ?"outt"t'''r*"f ""'y'" March Kenneth 

was out for a walk. A soft breeze came sween 

ng up f^om the lake; it was so cool and S-' 

mg The streets were crowded with churchgoers 

steps in the direction of St. Peters P«, 

doubtful whether or not he should enter th. 
•sacred edifice. He had just turned his btk ^ 

you saM' Sr"°°; '' " '^"^'"^'^ I »« tosee 
"Now 2. "^^ '''"'*'' Pother, gently 

Tsto peak a'n^r^- '''' '^^"'^'^ ^^^^^^ishop 
IS to speak, and there is a feast in store for the 

-ngregation." The chimes ceased ringing and 
the^rreat organ pealed forth volumes o?2u„7 

in front of the pulpit. '^ 

"Divine Providence againj" whispered the 



.: I 



100 



ONB EASTER AT HIGHMORB. 



priest to himself, as he entered the sanctuary. 

That very evening Father Doyle had a caller 
at the rectory. It was Mr. Cameron. The Arch- 
bishop'ssermon on Faith had set his brain think- 
ing, and every truth in the eloquent discourse 
had taken deep root in Kenneth's soul. What 
passed between the two men that night only they 
themselves knew. But for evenings after you 
could see a dim light in Father Doyle's study at 
a certain hour, and the venerable old man, cate- 
chism in hand, instructing Highmore's wealthy 
broker. And now we can g^ess where Kenneth 
spent so many of his evenings. 

Easter dawned, bright and rosy, with the ring- 
ing of bells over the roof-tops of the city. The 
heart of the morning beat joyous and free, and 
Clyde could hardly wait for his mother's return 
from early mass, for this was to be the day of 
his drive. 

"Won't you have breakfast before going out 
driving, Kenneth?' ' asked Cecile lovingly. Ken- 
neth shook his head and answered somewhat 
strangely: "Thank you, Cecile! I little feel 
like eating anything just now. After the drive, 
a morsel will taste all the better, my dear," and 
he laughed a bright, cherry laugh, that sent a 
thrill of joy through Cecile's heart. 

When father and son were comfortably seated 
in the coupe and speeding down Central avenue, 






ONH KASTER AT HIGHMnKK. IQl 

Mr. Cameron turned to Clyde. There was a look 
of almost superhuman joy in his face, and he 
ask 1, in a trembling tone of voice- "Clyde 
you ave seen so much of Father Doyle-would 
you . .ally like to become a Catholic?" 

"With all my heart, father," cametheanswer 
in a fine, soft, childish voice. "I oftenthonghl 
of It, but I dared not ask you." 

thJ?u """^..T^ """ "°^' ^^y^'''" proceeded 
the father. I have kept a little surprise from you 
and your mother. Last night I went to confLs- 
lon to good, old Father Doyle, and this morning 
I am to be baptized and receive Communion in 
the rectory chapel. And now, Clyde, you see 
why I could not take bre«kfa.st this morning; it 
would have broken my fast. . Little your mother 
dreams of the surprise that this Easter will brine 
her —and he laughed gladly. 

Clyde opened his large, blue eyes; he was al- 
m«tdumb. He could hardly believe his father's 
words. "Oh, father!" he at last broke forth 
amidst a flow of tears, "I am .so happy. Can't 
r also be baptized with you? Do speak to Father 
Doyle. I am sure he won 't refuse me. ' ' 

They had to wait at the rectory some minutes 
The housekeeper had told them that Father 
Doyle had just gone to the Cathedral for hosts 
as the Archbishop was going to say his mass in 
his pnvate chapel in the rectory. 



■t :' 



■ t!J 



102 



ONK KASTKR AT Hir.HMORK. 



Fifteen minutes later, both father and son had 
been baptized and received into the Church. 
The Archbishop, himself, kindly performed the 
ceremony, and, trembling old man that he was, 
he seemed still very active and strong for his 
years, as he mounted, with heavy step, the altar, 
to administer the first Holy Communion to Ken- 
neth Cameron, while Clyde in his heart, thanked 
God that his first sweet prayer to Mary had been 
answered. Father Doyle was sponsor to both 
baptisms. After mass, the Archbishop blessed 
both father and son where they were kneeling, 
and went to the Cathedral to preach the Easter 
sermon. Mr. Cameron and Clyde occupied front 
pews, and as the venerable Archbishop spoke, 
large, heavy tears rolled down Kenneth's cheeks. 
He thought of the Archbishop's former sermon 
on Faith, and thanked God inwardly, for hav- 
ing directed his footsteps to old St. Peter's on 
that memorable Sunday evening. 

When the coupe again stopped in front of the 
Cameron residence, the Archbishop was the first 
to alight, and he remarked thoughtfully. "You 
should have told your wife of this, Mr. Cameron. 
I dare say, she little suspects what has happened, 
but, after all, it will be a pleasant surprise foi 
her, and a moment of happiness, the like of 
which she will not experience ag^n." 

"A i"oment of happiness, your Grace" added 



l'« ' 



ONK KASTKH AT HIGIIMORK. 



luy 



Father Doyle, as he stepped to the pavement, 
"into which can be crowded all life's years of 
sorrow. ' ' Just then Kenneth Cameron's eyes lit 
up with a smile. He had seen Ceciles face 
through the lace curtains and his heart gave a 
wild thrill of joy. 

The Archbishop himself took Clyde in his arms 
and lifted him from the carriage, and together 
they walked into the house. Mrs. Cameron's 
eyes sparkled as she knelt to kiss the Archbishop's 
ring. He had been a dear friend to the Emery's 
in the days gone by, and, as he stooped to bless 
Michael Emery's only chilt" , hissaintly old heart 
felt a pain that was akin to sorrow. "May all 
your days be filled with sunshine," he said, 
"and may God bless you and vouts!" Just then 
a thought pierced Cecile's soul. She thought oi 
Kenneth and wondered in her heart if her prayer 
would ever be answered. She raised hereell 
from her knees and smiled to Father Doyle, as 
she clasped hands. Then turning to Kenneth and 
Clyde, she noticed a strange look in both their 
eyes, which spoke of a secret something she 
dreaiued not of. 

Kenneth rose to the situation and laid bare the 
secret, that up to now had bwai hidden in his 
heart. "Cecile," heexclaimed, with much feel- 
ing, "the accounts are balanced— the debt is 
paid. Here are the receipts," and he handed 



'"i 



104 



ONB BASTBR AT RIGHMORB. 



her two souvenir documents. They bore the 
particulars and date of her husband's and son's 
baptism and entrance into the Church. 

Cecile trembled and held the documents to her 
gaze. The tears were gathering in her soft eye- 
lids. The surprise had totally upset her. "Oh, 
Godl"shecried"IthankTheel" Andshekissed 
Kenneth and Clyde just where they were stand- 
ing. 



i I. 



SHADOW AND SUNSHINE. 



An hour ago, I walked through the Halls of 
Misery. About me were seas of pale, sick faces 
—some bearing a hopeful look, some down- 
cast and despairing, others, again, contracted by 
the ravages of pain. The little hospital clock 
in the far comer ticked away the minntes that 
weighed like lead upon some poor, tired souls, 
and all the air was heavy with rose- perfume. 
The long, white ward was silent, save for an oc- 
casional weak moan that came from the bed, 
near the last window, where a little light flickered 
peacehilly. With aching heart, I drew near. 
Poor, degraded mani How my heart went out 
to him as he lay there, almost battered beyond 
recognition— another unhappy victim of the 
terrible accident in one of the down-town streets. 
His face had a hard look upon it, and as I drew 
near he gave me a hard smile that almost froze 
the blood in my veins. I took his hand and 
bent over him and spoke, but he made no ans- 
wer. His glassy eyes only opened to close again. 
I felt that death had taken hold of his heart- 
strings, and that the end would only be a matter 
oi a few minutes. 
At the bedside knelt the sweet-faced nun, who 
(105) 



:1>: 



106 



SHADOW AND SUNSHINE. 



1 I ;• 



had not left him since his body had been carried 
in, early in the afternoon. Her eyes seemed to 
be treasuring visions other mortals dreamed not 
of, and her lips were tuned to the melody of 
prayer. Presently, she rose, and bending over 
the dying man, listened for a moment, then 
answered sweetly: "Vou must not speak so, 
poormani You are not alone, for God Himself 
is near, willing to be your friend — " 

"My friend?" faintly spoke up the dying man, 
and for an instant he lingered upon the music of 
that word, whose true meaning he had never 
realized until now. But it was too late. 

Suddenly, a darkness crept into his wild eyes, 
a loud volley of curses fell from his lips — he 
cursed God, life, everybody— curses so horrible 
that the very air and rose leaves trembled and 
stirred the hearts of the many sleepless observers 
who moved uneasily in their white beds in the 
long ward. His fists clinched terribly, his 
whole body shook, and another awful curse died 
on his lips. And his soul passed out into a cold 
and desolate night, with no bright star to cheer 
its bitter journey. 

The good, little nun stared a minute into the 
face, set cold in death. A few tears crept from 
her tired eyes; they rolled down her snowy 
guimpe, and I almost thought I heard them fall, 
so deep was the silence. 



SHADOW AND StrNSHINK. 107 

Then, turning to me, she whispered- "He is 
gone-poor mani God be merciful!" and sadlv 
she crept out of the long, white ward, sick at 
heart for the passing of an unrepenting soul. 
And instantly these beautiful lines came to me- 
If we live truly, we shall see truly. " It is as 
«»sy for the strongman to be strong, as it is for 
the weak tobe weak. When we have new per- 
ception, we shall gladly disburden the memwy 
of Its hoarded treasures as old rubbish. When 
a man lives with God, his voice shall be assweet 
as the murmur of the brook and the rustle of the 
com. ' ' 

I paused a moment in the presence of death 
andagainmyheart ached, for it had been wit- 
ness to many such scenes. Presently, the sound 
of a little silver bell floated outside, down the 
long corridor. It grew louder and louder as it 
drew nearer, and in another minute the 6ld gray 
haired chaplain passed in the light of a buminjr 
randle, which the good Sister carried reverently 
Another soul was hovering on the brink of 
eternity; another life had almost spent its fires in 
Ae mighty battle of existence. It was pa.ssing 
from the Now into the Then. 

The music of the little bell fell upon my heart 
and eagerly I followed-followed the little bell 
and the pale, flickering candle-light. Upon a 
spotless pillow, lay the sickened, tired head of 






lOS 



SHADOW AND SUNSHINE. 



:.. 



I 



the dying woman. She was quite young^-on 
her cheeks still lingered the flush of the last 
twilight, that had shone through the large open 
windows. Yes, the twilight of her life was over, 
and now the night was waiting with her glorious 
hours of resi, sacred and satisfying. But she 
feared not, for Christ — the Pilot of her soul — wa.s 
about to come to her to steer her little barque in- 
to the blessed tide of Peace, that flowed beneath 
the sunshines of angels' smiles through a land 
of roses, where Joy and Love walked arm in arm 
through asphodelian meadows, and God Him- 
.self sat reigning in His heaven. 

Heaven would soon be hers. Her years had 
been one continual shower of prayer and song. 
Other lives were the richer for her having lived, 
and as she lay there, one could almost see the 
fingers of the MasUr stealing, in the silence, to 
pluck frotn His garden one of life's purest floweis 
— a flower with its young life still before it — a 
flower with all its leafy hopes yet folded — a 
flower tended and watched and nourished by 
Himself and destined to bloom to loveliness be- 
neath other skies. 

Presently, the priest administered the Commun- 
ion. His hands shook a little, and no wonder — for 
they held, in that brief moment, the mighty King 
of Heaven. The sick woman smiled. The 
priest had brought her soul's Pilot and she 



■ ii 



itHAOOW AND SUNSHIKB. 



108 



wanted nothing more. And, tor some time all 
knelt it prayer. Only now and then, the aob 
of a strong mai, .u the rear made one feel aad. 
It was the husband of the dying woman. But a 
year ago. the old chaplin had made the two, man 
and wife. The woman's eyes opened for a mo- 
ment. "The prayers are so lovely," she said. 
'They float over the distant waters that divide 
us like the music of soft-toned reeds, and my 
Pilot and I are happier on account of them." 
Then, in trembling voice, she called- "The 
childl Jim! Wherearethey?" 

The kind nun rose, bent for an insta.nt over 
the white crib, and took from it a little blue-eyed 
babe; it had the face of an angel, and tenderly 
she placed it in the dying woman's arms. 
Good-byel Good-byel my little onel Thou art 
pure as the snow, my little first-bom— my Mary I 
God always, sooner or later, plucks a lil>" forthe 
rose. You are my lily— my little, white-souled 
child, and I will not have to wait long till you 
rest safely in your mother's arms in heaven." 

Unconsciously, almost, Bryant s lines came 
to me, and my lips repeated quietly: 
"Innocent child and snow-white flower. 
Well are ye paired in your opening hour; 
Thus should the pure and the lovely meet. 
Stainless with stainless and sweet with sweet 
White as those leaves fast blown apart 
Are the folds of thy own young heart: 
Guilty passion and cankering care 
Never have left their traces there. " 



I in 




1 ^'ii 








:|l 


^ 


i H 


i' 




■■• 


' n 




^1 1 


i: 


ii 









no 



SHADOW AMI HUN8HINK. 



Gladly, the dying woman impreswed a parting 
kiss on the tiny baby cheek. For a moment, she 
gazed at the little one. "O GodI" she exclaim* 
sd, "willingly do I give up my life for the sake 
of my newborn babe— my Mary," and, tremb- 
ling, she handed the precious charge into the 
arms the gentle, kind nun. Then, turning to 
her husband, she said with quivering lips: ' Do 
not weep, Jim! I am so happ>', and when I am 
<one I will not cease praying for you, my love. 
God is good, and I ^will ask Him to bring you 
and my little one home to me— soon. ' ' And while 
3ur lips moved slowly in prayer, her own follow- 
ed anxiously, and when the end came — as it did 
peacefully and quietly — the happy mother, who 
had tasted the joys of motherhood and sacrifice, 
opened her eyes and had a smile for each of us. 
And, silently, her white soul went out to the 
Pilot, who stood waiting at the blessed foothills 
of Eternity, in a pleasant dawn, to steer it into 
the heavenly calms — "into the broad sunshine of 
the other life," as Longfellow so lieautifuUy ex- 
presses it. 

' ' Life is made up of strange pictures ," the nun 
said tome, as we walked down the long corridors. 
"To-night, w, two, have witnessed the Auti^mn 
of despair and the Summer of hope; in one was 
the impression of the E\-il One; in the other the 
nobTe spirituality of the divine Galilean, Himself. 



SHADOW AND SUNSHINX. HI 

One wutheahadow, the other the Haimhine: one 
bringn a touch of pain, but the other a feeling of 
joy, for to have witnewed such a death is almost 
aRlinipiieof heaven itaelf." 
And the humble, little nun was right. 



In I 



i 



I 



! ,J' 



FOR LOVE'S OWN SAKE. 

Chapter I. 
"The rose is fairest, when 'tis budding new, 
The hope is brightest when it dawns from fears; 
The rose is sweetest washed with morning dew 
And love is loveliest when embalmed in tears." 
Scott (Lady of the Lake, Canto IV.) 
A cool breeze swept lightly through the draw- 
ing-room windows of the St. G«orge mansion on 
Champlain street, and the twilight shadows were 
already creeping around the streets, when Beat- 
rice St. George— a fair maid of twenty summers 
— r ijoiced that the lonely day was nearly at an 
end, as she sat running her nimble fingers over 
the ivory keys of her new piano. She was an 
only child, and her lather, the Hon. Harvey St. 
George fairly idolized her, and no wonder, for 
she was indeed an ideal picture of Canadian 
womanhood and, as she sat there in the dusk in 
her dress of silk, with iu many tasty gatherings 
of ribbons and lace, ojie could not but admire 
her rare beauty. Beatrice had been rather gloomy 
all day, yet never before had she played Mendel- 
ssohn with so much expression as now. Her 
(113) 



I.'. * 



114 



FOR LOVE'S OWN SAKE. 



very sjul was in her music and the clear, ringing 
notes of the "Spring Song," stole into ever>- 
corner of that magnificently furnished room, the 
air of which was redolent with the breath of fresh 
roses. And now she rose from the piano, a slen- 
der, though graceful figjure — her mouth 
"with steady sweetness set 
And eyes conveying unaware. 

The distant hint of some regret 
That harbored there." 
Slowly, she crossed 'the room to stir the fire, 
which was almost out, and then her eyes wand- 
ered to the picture of a woman, which hung in 
its deep gilt frame above the mantle-piece. Long 
she stood there, gazing into the beloved counten- 
ance of her poor, dead mother, and almost un- 
consciously she whispered to herself: "Poor, 
dear mother! would that you were with me nowl 
O, my heart is heavy with its dregs of sorrow. 
Ten long years have passed since the night your 
fevered lips kissed me their last good-bye. 01 
how cruel it was that you were taken from me at 
a time when I needed your counsel most! But 
no, it was not cruel — no, I dare not speak thus. 
God knew what was best and happiness and 
peace will surely come to me again. O, mother, 
would that you were -near to advise me nowl I 
am sorely distressed. Father is bound to have 
me marry Count Albertini, an Italian nobleman. 






FOR LOVK'S OWN SAKR. 



115 



and the thought of it nearly drives me mad. I 
do not, cannnot, love him. He asks me to for- 
sake my religion, your religion, mother, for 
wealth, distinction and an empty title, and, when 
I mention Francois Fortier's name, father drifts 
into a violent fit of anger. But I am resolved. I 
will never forsake the Catholic Church for a hun- 
dred Italian mnts like Albertini. I will marry 
Francois Fortier— the man I love. He is only a 
poor book-keeper, mother, but he has a heart of 
gold. He has been very reckless of late and 
has not seen the inside of a Church foryeats, but 
I love him, and I will make a man of him. Poor 
mother! poor Francois — " 

She could not speak another word. Her feel- 
ings got the better of her and she sank down upon 
the sofa near by, exhausted and powerless and 
wept like a child. A few minutes later, she was 
on her feet again, and her face was as white as 
that of the carved ivory figure of the Madonna 
that stood upon the piano. With heavy heart 
she walked to the large open window, facing the 
busy, lighted streets, and as she stood there, her 
thoughts wrestled with a great and mighty prob- 
lem. The city clock had just struck eight, and 
sadly she gazed out into the night, while the 
heart of the city wa? vibrant with life. The band 
was playing on the island near by and crowds of 
people were walking in that direction. Presently 



116 



I'OK LOV«'s OWiN SAKK. 



I • 



it struck up the overture of Mascagiu's famous 
opera, and, when the solo cornetist played the 
"Ave Maria," Beatrice listened with both ears. 
Oh, it was so beautiful; it just suited her present 
state of mind and the tears were again gathering 
under her soft eyelids. To har it sounded like 
the voice of some longing,- and desolate heart, 
telling forth its tale of sorrow into the darkness 
of night. It touched a tender chord in her heart 
and almost dreamingly, she whispered to the 
busy night winds: , 

"Oh, for that sweet, untroubled rest 
That poets oft have sung! 

The babe upon its mother's breast. 
The bird upon its young. 

The heart asleep without a pain. 
When shall I know that sleep again?" 

Just then, she felt a light tap on her shoulders. 
She turned her head nervously, somewhat 
frightened, and her father stood before her. 

"Ah, Beatrice darling!" he began, as he kiss- 
ed her cheeks tenderly. "Don't be frig' tened, 
it is only papa. Why, how tired and worn you 
look, dear! I suppose you were wondering what 
had happened me. And is it really nine o'clock? 
Well, I was so busy at the oflSce this afternoon, 
closing a few bargains in real-estate and those 
blundering fellows held me fast until now. But 
Beatrice! Child! You look trftubled. What has 



1 !»■• 
I ! I 



FOR LOVK'S OWN SAKE. 



117 



happened? Your eye* are red— you were weep- 
ing, child! Come what is the matter, darling?" 
And, saying this, he sat down beside her. 

"Nothing very much," answered Beatrice. 

' ' The band in the park yonder played some beauti - 

ful selections and, as I listened, my heart grew so 

lonesome. And then, too, I thought of mother' 

poor, dear mother! Oh how happy I would be 

could I only hear her vorce! Do you know father, 

that this is the anniversary of her death?' ' There 

was silence and the Hon. Harvey St. George 

gazed sorrowfully at the woman in oil above the 

mantel-piece, and, when Beatrice turned slightly, 

she saw that his eyes were filling up with tears." 

"Come father," she said, "Constance awaits 

you for supper in the dining room. The bell 

sounded ten minutes ago. ' • And together they 

rose and, arm in arm, left the drawing room. 

The Hon. Harvey St. George was one of the 
leading real-estate dealers in the city, and was 
considered by some, as being very wealthy, while 
others again a.sserted that he was on the down- 
ward path— on his last legs, as the saying goes— 
and that before many moons the beauriful St. 
George mansion would •)e in the hands of hi.s 
creditors. A man of very distinguished appear- 
ance, he moved in the best circles of .society. 
His wife was a daughter of the late Senator 
Snnth, and, three years after her marriage, she 



118 



FOR UlVh'S OWN SAKK. 




\l- 



became a convert to the Catholic faith. After 
her death, St George made up his mind never 
to marry again. He was a large-hearted, good- 
natured sort of a fellow, and gave freely to the 
poor, but he 'lad one great fault; he had an un- 
governable, bad temper, and, when he made up 
his mind to do a thing, he generally did it. He 
loved his daughter almost too much, and, as her 
father, sought her obedience in all things. 
St. George, himself frequented no particular 
church. Mrs. St. Geoi^ had been a good Cath- 
olic and Beatrice was also brought up in her 
mother's faith, and it had been a rare thing to 
hear a word of ridicule from St. George's lips. 
But now, in his flights of temper, he would say 
distressing and cutting things, that pierced Beat- 
rice's very soul, but she always forgave him. 
The other member of the household was Con- 
stance Burke, the trusty old servant, who, ever 
since the night of Beatrice's mother's death, had 
made the St. George mansion her home. She 
was the best friend Beatrice had in all this world 
and, to her example and timely instructions, 
the girl owed in part, her strong grounding in 
character. 

Silence reigned in the dining room. Beatrice 
was looking over the daily papers and her father 
was taking hissupperratherquietly. Something 
was troubling him, and it left its shadow on his 



I I 



FOR LOVK S OWN SAKH. 



119 



handsome face. His brow was wrinkled and ais 
eyes were set. Something was worr ; lag him and 
Beatrice knew it Just then, Constance opened 
the door and said: "Mr. St. George, the clerk 
has just brought the mail, and here, Beatrice, is 
a letter for you." With her back to Mr. St. 
George, the good-natured women kissed the per- 
fumed envelope and handed it to Beatrice, with 
a merry twinkle in her eyes. 

"Thatijtyou, Constance. From FrancoisI my 
Francois," whispered Beatrice to herself, as she 
quickly opened the letter. Then she closed it 
again; her face turned pale, and the letter with the 
odor of crushed violets fell to the floor. Nervous- 
lyshe snatched it upagain, and read it, her hands 
shaking with fear — 

Room 46, Hotel Lafayette. 
(Sydenham Street.) 

Monday Evening. 
Dear Beatrice, 

I could not resist writing you again. Your 
resolution came as a thunderbolt to me. Do re- 
consider the matter, Beatrice, for my sake, do! 
I ask once more. I love you, and will give yon 
wealth, distinction and happiness, and a beauti- 
ful home in Naples, if you consent to become my 
wife. By doing this you will save your father 
from utter ruin. Think well! You may some 
day regret this hasty act. 

Yours 

XICCOI A ALBERTINI. 






II 



120 



FOR LOVB'S OWN SAKR. 



I ;n 



Beatrice St George's face paled when she had 
finished the letter; she was seized with an almost 
superhuman dread of some impending calamity 
and the name of Niccola Albertini brought a 
new terror to her soul. Again this man, whom 
she hated so, had dared to thrust himself into her 
very existence. Only yesterday, she had written 
him a burning letter, that she could never become 
his wife— but without avail. "By doing this, 
you will .save your father from utter ruin." 
What did he mean? Ah I these were the words 
that pained her deeply and, for a minute, she 
stared into space, almost wildly, the vessels in 
her temples throbbing visibly. Poor girl! 

During all this time, St. George was eyeing 
his daughter critically, and a cynical smile stole 
round his eyes, as he exclaimed: "Why Beat- 
rice, what has happened? The letter seems to 
have brought you distressing news. Let me read 
it, childl" Beatrice raised her drooping head 
and stared wildly at her father, and, rising, 
obeyed and handed him the Count's letter. 

Mr. St. George threw himself back in his easy 
chair and, quickly, his eyes scanned the letter; 
then he raised his head, and the furrows on his 
face deepened. Beatrice could not sit it out; she 
rose and walked the floor with an impetuous 
tread, an expres.sion of deepanguish in her giriish 
eyes. Her father watched her, as a cat watches 



FOR LOVE'S OWN SAKE. 



121 



a mouse, and at last he exclaimed somewhat 
hoarsely: 

"Well, Beatricel What have you to say?" 

The girl stood still and heaved a deep sigh and, 
raising her misty eyes to his, exclaimed almost 
abruptly: "Father! it is impossible. Utterly 
impossible! Why do you persist in this marriage 
with this man, whom I hate and can never love? 
I cannot give up Francois Fortier, for I love him 
with all my heart." 

"And you prefer," he exclaimed angrily, "that 
low-bred fellow, that good-for-nothing scamp, to 
a wealthy and refined man like Count Albertini? 
For a girt of your bringing up, Beatrice, I must 
say, your taste is remarkable." Just then his 
foot came to the floor with a loud noise. 

"Oh, father! How can you speak sc of Fran- 
cois? He may not have the wealth of an Alber- 
tini, but if the word gentleman has any meaning, 
father, then, he is a gentleman. I have known 
him all these years and many a time mother ran 
her fingers through his golden hair, when we, 
two, were playmates. But that was long age' 
To-day he is the self-same fellow, a trifle careless, 
I know^but he can hardly be blamed for that! 
I,eft an orphan at eight, and adopted by a 
careless aunt, he gradually drifted away from 
God, and now— well, he is nothing. If I give 
him up now, he will go to utter ruin. But father, 



122 



FOR love's own SAKB. 






I cannot do it. I love him and I will marry him; 
I will help him to save hia soul and lead him 
back into the embrace of the Catholic faith, which 
his poor, dead parents loved so tenderly. Father! 
I have a duty to perform— the salvation of the 
soul of Francois Fortier. " 

"Francois Fortier, that miserable worm of the 
street, that regenerate Catholic, to be married to 
the daughter of the Hon. Harvey St. George— 
impossiblel Curse himi Well, after all, this is 
what a father can expect for sending his daugh- 
ter to a Convent for a liberal education; this, then, 
is the sort of rubbish, those pale-faced nuns in- 
stil into the hearts of their scholars. They make 
them idolize their very church — set their idola- 
trous faith above wealth, distinction, honor and 
fame. Oh, whatfollyl" 

Beatrice, weak and despairing, sank down on 
the couch, near the fire place. There was a 
momentary silence and she began: "Fatherl How 
can you speak so insultingly of the good Sisters? 
How dare you stigmatize my faith, my mother's 
faith, your wife's faith, as idolatrous? Oh, fa- 
ther, it breaks my poor heart. You must be go- 
ing mad. I prize my faith, and I am not 
ashamed to say it, above anything earthly — 
above wealth, distinction, honor and fame, and 
as long as I hold the power of speech, I will 
never sell my soul for the love of that scheming 



FOR love's own sake. 



12S 



Italian. To live with him would be to me but 
a lingering death. Oh, fatherl Be merciful to me 
and I will bless you all my life." And Beatrice 
wept bitterly. 

A groan burst from St. George'slips; he wrung 
his hands, the color left his cheeks, and, rising 
from his chair, he walked o--er to where Beatrice 
was sitting and answered somewhat calmly, as 
his temper was gradually abating: "Beatrice, 
child, listenl I am a prisoner in the Count's 
hands. The letter reads, you see — "by doing 
this you will save your father from utter ruin. ' ' 
Again these words burned into Beatrice's very 
soul. She had forgotten them in the hasty dis- 
cussion that had followed, but now again they 
stood, black and staring, before her tearful eyes. 
"Beatrice," continued her father, "I have 
never told you anything concerning my business 
relations with Albertini, but now the hour has 
come, and your marriage is the only means of 
sparing me from the ignominy of disgrace. The 
Count holds a large mortgage, on all my posses- 
sions, which he will destroy if you consent to be- 
come his wife. I met him at the Hotel Lafayette 
this morning, and he told me that, if you refuse, 
I — I — the Hon. Harvey St. George — will be a 
pauper in the streets of the city, before to-mor- 
row's sun has coursed the blue canopy to its 
western home. Will you then persist in your 



IM 



FOU LOVK'S OWN SAKS. 



' r 




1 - 


•-! 


1 

1 
j 

J 
1 

1 ' 





answer and see your father publicly disgraced, 
before your very eyes? Think again, child, and 
I will await your answer on the morrow. " And 
then Harvey St. George left the dining-room 
with the day's mail under his arm, while Beat- 
rice buried her head in a silk cushion on the sofa 
and sobbed aloud in the extremity of her anguish. 

Constance Burke soon knelt at her side whis- 
pering sweet and consoling words, and her kind 
voice and bright chee^fful smile soon made Beat- 
rice feel better. 

"Oh, Constance, I came near forgetting. 
Will you do me a favor?" 

"Certainly, dear," came the answer, clear and 
distinct, like a silver bell. 

To-day is the anniversary of mother's death, 
and I must have a mass read for her in the morn- 
ing. Go at once to Father Stanislaus, as it is 
gett'ng late, and to-morrow morning we will go 
to confession I" 

"Good-bye, Beatricel" 

"Good-bye, dear!" And inaminute Constance 
was gone. 

BeatT''^ went to her room that night sadder 
than ever. She sank down on her knee in front 
of the large white statute of the Virgin, which 
her mother had given her on her tenth birthday, 
and wept and prayed convulsively. "O Queen 
of Mercy! be my stay in this darkened hour of 



FOR I/JVK S OWN SAKK. 



125 






triall I seek thy advice — what shall I do? 
Would that mother were only here! Poor, poor 
motherl And my poor Francois, what will be- 
come of him? I am helpless in my father's 
hands. Must I obey him, when my conscience 
says — no? But I will have to yield. I am sure of 
it — I feel it. O, my poor, poor Francois!" 

At an early hour next morning Beatrice and 
Constance returned from Mass. They had both 
received the "Bread of Angels" and Beatrice was 
prepared to face the worst and yet she was happy 
as the birds, flying through the air. She had 
made her peace with God and she had nothing 
to fear. 

That morning after breakfast, a stormy scene 
followed. St. George's temper grew violent. 
"Well, Beatrice," he asked, cooly, "I await 
your answer. Will you, for your father's sake, 
consent to marry Count Albertini?" 

"You have my decision, father," came the 
answer, clear and distinct, and the girl's lips 
trembled. ' ' I will not, cannot consent to become 
his wife." 

"Then, ungrateful girll" he thundered out 
viciously, as he pounded his fist on the table, 
"do your worst! You are no longer a child of 
mine. Your disobedience and stubbomess has 
forced me to hate you with all the hatred of a 
once loving heart. Go, where you will— drift 



126 



FOR love's own sake. 



! 



5 



1 !■ >• 

1 1 f ' 



away to the hospital or alms house, but never 
never again look up to me as your father. In 
your direst extremity, expect not even a word of 
pity from me. I would not even spare you un- 
grateful child, and give a single penny to 'save 
you from a pauper's grave. I swear it. Go 
marry your Francois! Go. go to your Catholic 
Church and see what she will do for youi" 

The Hon. Harvey St. George left the table 
and paced the room, with the fury of a caged 
lion. Beatrice ran up'to him and threw her arms 
about him and cried out in the fullness of her 
pure, youngheart:"0, father! Spare me! Save 
mel Don't throw me out into the cold streetsi 

Go! Go! I know you not,"' he cried, as he 
ran out of the room. 

Beatrice, powerless as an autumn leaf, fell to 
the floor sobbing as if her young heart would 
break There was a slight noise— the front door 
closed vnth a bang and. in an instant, the Hon. 
Harvey St. George was lost in the black, surging 
crowds, that filled Champlain street. 

That afternoon, two deeply veiled women en- 
tered the humble little church, near the city 
park. They were Beatrice St. George and Con- 
stance Burke. They had left the beautiful St. 
George mansion-forever, and at Constance's 
invitation, Beatrice was now going to make her 
home with the Eurkes." 



Chapter U 






Francois Fortier sat on the balcony of the Hotel 
Frontenac, idly puffing away at his cigarette. 
It was the hour of four in the afternoon. His 
work at the office was finished, and he sat gazing 
down sadly into the street, busy with excitement. 
He was a man of fine appearance, and on his 
young face, there lurked a tender smile. His 
laiTge, black eyes, bright and dancing with almost 
childish gladness, held a singular fascination and, 
on his broad and full forehead, there was not a 
wrinkle of care. His complexion was fair and 
healthy, and the cool north-wind had rouged his 
cheeks until they matched the brilliant hue of his 
red neck-tie. A few feet away sat a rather 
strange looking man, who eyed Francois almost 
continually. He was dressed in a rich black 
suit, and wore a heavy dark moustache and 
beard. A pair of deep colored glasses were fast- 
ened to his rather stubby nose. He was one of 
the latest arrivals at the Frontenac— a foreigner, 
in fact, they said— and, only a few hours since! 
Francois had met this strange man, downstairs 
whose card read: 

Prof. Herman Von Klingfeld, 

Director Theatre Royal. 

20 Potsdam Place. Berlin, Germany. 

(127) 



128 



FOR LOVK'S OWN SAKE. 



Francois did not know that the distingu- 
ished visitor was so near until he heard his slight 
cough, and turning he greeted the Professor with 
a cheery "good afternoon" and motioned him to 
his side. The Professor obeyed and in a second 
began to talk vociferously. 

"Well, this is a delightful afternoon, ' ' he went 
on. "This Canadian air makes me feel like a 
new man. This morning I called in to see Dr. 
Hutchinson, the renywned eye-specialist. You 
know I heard of this man away over in Germany 
and he made some wonderful cures. My eyesight 
had been failing rapidly for the past few months 
and I decided to give him a trial— md this is 
why I am here. The doctor intends operating 
in a few days and gives me great hopes. " 

"Ah!" exclaimed Fortier, as he lit another 
cigarette, "he is a great man, and he has a won- 
derful practice. If anybody can help you, then 
Hutchinson is the man to do it." 

A cold wind was now blowing from the north, 
and the strange man in black rose and saidi 
"Come, Fortier. It is getting rather chilly out 
here. Let us go in. Come to my room— it is 
right on this flat, and let us have a game of 
cards. " And, when they reached the room, Von 
Klingfeld handed Francois a chair near the table, 
that stood facing the large, open window. 



FOR LOVE'S OWN SAKE. 



129 



"Well, what shall it be. Professor, euchre or 
pedro?" questioned Francois. 

"Neither." answered Von Klingfeld, "tho.se 
are old maids' games. They go at five o'clock 
teas and the like, but then we only laugh at them 
over in Berlin. What say you to a game of 
poker?" 

Poker?' ' asked Francois, "well really, Profess- 
or I don't know a great deal about the game, as 
I have played it so little. Let it be poker, then 
but remember I am only a gteen-hom at the 
game." An eager smile lit up the German's 
lace. as he shufHed the cards. 

They had now been playing several hours and 
the air of the room was heavy with clouds of 
strong-smelling smoke. On the table stood sev- 
eral empty bottles of champagne; the bell-boy 
had evidently been kept busy running the stairs. 
There was a slight rap on the door. 
"Come in!" shouted out Von KUngfeld 
"Ah, It is you Sims. Walk right in and 
make yourself miserable, partner I" chuckled 
he lustily. 

"How do you do, Harry ?" 
"Hello, there, Francois. " 
.1. ' "^°°*' y°« take a hand in the game ?" asked 
the black-headed Professor. "No, thank you 
Von Klingfeld," answered Harry Sims. "I will 
only look on." 



I i 



" 






lao 



FOR LOVE S OWN SAKE. 



Thirty minutes later Francois rose from the 
table, after he had counted up his winnings on 
the tally card, that lay at his elbow. 

"And do you really want to go, Fortier?" 
mumbled forth Von Klingfeld, with the accent 
on the "really." 

"I must. Professor. I must have a draught 
of fresh air. The smoke in here is so oppress- 
ive," answered Francois. 

"Oh, it is not the fault of the smoke, young 
man. Ha I ha I You are anxious to leave me, 
now that fortune has favored you— or is it per- 
haps that some modern Venus is awaiting you 
in some part of the city ?" 

There was a slight turn of sarcasm in this and 
Herr Von Klingfeld laughed vigorously, when 
he finished speaking. 

Francois colored. His eyes had a look of 
anger in them, and for a moment he thought 
that he had recognized the voice of the 
strange man in black. He had heard it before — 
somewhere. He was sure of it. But no I he 
must have been dreaming and, just as quickly 
as the thought had come to him, he banished it 
again. 

"Well," Francois went on, ''since you pre- 
sist so, I will play a little longer. But, sir I it 
was wrong of me to put my hand in this sort of 
a game at all . Go on ! shu£3e the cards. ' ' And 



FOR LOVK'S OWN SAKE. 



131 



again with a heavy sigh, Francois Fotier 
dealt the cards, while the strange man in black 
eyed him furtively. 

Just as he finished, the bell-boy entered with 
a letter for Francois. Eagerly he opened the 
envelope and read it. It was a note from Beatrice 
St. George. 
My Dear Francois, 

Meet me to-night at 8 o'clock at the old church 
near the city park. I have something to tell you. 
This afternoon I bade farewell to my home on 
Champlain street. I am staying at Burke's. 
Dear old Constance is with me. Father has dis- 
owned me. May God bless you ! 

With love, your own 

BEATRICE. 
A merry smile stole round Francois' curved 
lips, and, in his happiness, he djd not notice the 
searching look the strange man directed on the 
contents of that mysterious letter. A few words 
alone were readable:— "Your own Beatrice"— 
and they wer« plain as day and, when Von 
Klingfeld read the name, his eyes sparkled, the 
furrows on his forehead deepened, and a look of 
disappointment crept into his wild face. 

"Pardon me, Von Klingfeld," began Fran- 
cois, "for having kept you waiting. Whose 
play is it?" "Yours, partner," answered the un- 
easy Herr Von, from Berlin. 



132 



FOR LOVK'S OWN SAKE. 






i i 



One hour passed. Two! three! four! 
The German professor was in excellent spirits; 
he swore and laughed alternately. But not so 
with Francois Fortier. He, poor boy, was almost 
despairing, for his losses were heavy and the tell- 
tale was clearly stamped on his clean-shaven 
countenance. His face was even redder now 
than the tie that shone from underneath his 
coat. It seemed as if almost every drop of blood 
in hib body had suddenly run to his head to stim- 
ulate his brain to activity. The hour had arrived 
and it was of vital moment to the lonely, troubled 
heart of poor Francois. What was he to do? 
All the money, which he had deposited in the 
bank — the hard-earned money, which some day 
was to make Beatrice happy — nearly all of it 
was drifting by degrees, into the gp'eedy hands of 
this strange ma^ in black. And what would 
Beatrice say? Oh I he could never return to her, 
almost penniless. The thought of it nearly par- 
alyzed him and he raised himself up in his chair 
and his brain battled with a lofty and a mighty 
purpose. 

Just then, Harry Sims, the wine-clerk of the 
Frontenac, rose, and, laying his hand on Por- 
tier's shoulder, said: "Old boyi take a friend's 
advice. Quit the game, for it will cripple you 
financially. ' ' 

"Let me play," interposed Fortier, "and if I 



FOR I^VE'S OWN SAKE. 



133 



lose all I have in the world, on this merciless 
black devil!" 

A spiteful look stole over Von Klingfeld's ugly, 
black {ace. The door closed— Harry Sims was 
gone, and now the two men were alone. 

Just then a card fell to the floor and Francois 
got on his knees to look for it. An opportune 
moment now presented itself for the cowardly act, 
and, with wonderful rapidity. Von Klingfeld's 
fingers dropped a white powder into the empty 
glass, that Francois had been using, as he said: 
"Well, Francois, while you are looking for the 
card, I may as well open another bottle. 1 sup- 
pose you can sUnd another champagne. ' ' Then 
the strange man in black opened another bottle 
and poured the foaming, hissing liquid into the 
glass containing the poison, and, when Fortier 
placed the last card on the table, he was busy 
filling his own glass. Now both drank heartily, 
and a devilish look of triumph was visible on 
Von Klingfeld's black face;and, under his breath, 
he again cursed his partner. 

Fifteen minutes later, Francois Fortier rose 
from the table, for a strange, numb feeling was 
creeping into every muscle of his whole anatomy. 
Some strange force was overpowering him, and 
he threw his cards to the table and said: 
"Enough, I play no more. Von Klingfeld count 
up your card! How much do I owe vou?" 



134 



FOR lovk's own sakk. 



i : i: 



A deep silence followed. There was an al- 
most superhuman look of anguish on Portier'a 
troubled, pale face. 

"Only a small matter, ' ' answered the elegantly 
dressed German. "Only si": hundred dollars — 
which, mark you, have to be paid by to-morrow 
afternoon. Are you prepared, sir?" 

Herr Von Klingfeld expected strange things 
would happen, and little did he dream that 
Francois Fortier was prepared to meet his de- 
mands and, when two, trembling fingers pulled 
forth a blank cheque from a well-nigh empty 
purse, his wild eyes looked fiercer and stranger 
than ever. 

"Six hundred dollars," stammered forth 
Francois, "it is just the amount to my credit in 
the bank." In a minute the cheque was filled 
out and in the hands of the strange man in black. 

"Well, the game is over, and you are the 
loser, Francois. Ha! hal cheer up I " broke 
forth Von Klingfeld loudly, "You seem heart- 
broken, but don't let small things like this 
trouble you. When do you desire reveng^e?" 
The Professor's loud, unbearable laugh again 
sounded through the smoke-filled room, and 
every muscle in Francois' body trembled strange- 
ly. 



"Revenge, did 
"Never! ne%'er!" 



you say?" questioned he. 



^m. 



FOR love's own sake. 



136 



"Good! Then this day brings me a double 
victory," shouted the strange man ttiumphantly, 
but little did Francois dream what these words 
meant. With a sudden turn Francois Fortier 
sprang to the door, like a pursued hare. There 
was a slight noise and then he was gone. 

A few minutes passed and the strange man in 
black boarded the car, bound for Sydenham 
street. In another hour he was in Hotel Lafay- 
ette and entered room 46. A moment later, the 
heavy black mustache and beard, and deep-col- 
ored glasses fell to the floor and the man was no 
longer Prof. Herman Von Klingfeld— but Count 
-Albertini — the rival of Francois Fortier, for the 
hand of Beatrice St. George. 

Albertini was restless, and hyena-like paced 
the floor of his handsomel " furnished room, 
while he cursed and swore, by all that was holy, 
that he would sooner see Francois Fortier dead 
than married to Beatrice St. George. And, in a 
maniacal fit of excitement, he cried out: "Ah, 
Beatrice St. George, I will yet bend your haughty, 
young head. The mortgage scheme — false 
though it be — is sure to work, and you will 
marry me to save your father from disgrace. Hal 
Ha! St. George, this was a capital idea of yours 
— this mortgage affair ! But, should the scheme 
f^l after all, what then? Ah, then, there is still 
hope; there is something that will not fail. The 



138 



FOR LOVR'S OWN SAKE. 



poison— the poison will work and to-morrow'ii 
sun will shine upon the form of Beatrice's lover 
in some lonely, forsaken street. Bravol Revenge 
— revenge is sweet! But v. hat if the poison 
should not take effect? Well, then, Portier will 
do away with himself. The thought of having to 
return to Beatrice, poorer than the poorest rag- 
man in the street, will overwhelm him in his dis- 
tress. He can never again face the girl he loves 
— neverl Beatrice! Beatrice St. George! You 
shall yet be mine — mine in body and soul!" 
And again the Count swore desperately. Then 
he walked to his desk. A letter was lying there. 
He opened it and read it. It was from the office 
of the Hon. Harvey St. George. Count Albert- 
ini's eyes eagerly scanned the contents. His 
face turned white, his jaws chattered and again 
tk fierce volley of curses rang through the room, 
as he tore the letter into a hundred little pieces. 
Then, weak and exhausted, he sank into his 
chair, his fists were clenched and an agonizidg 
cry of despair filled the room. "Too late! too 
late!" he groaned, as he buried his miserable 
face in his hands. 



I' I 



Chaptkk III. 



The clock on the tower of the little, quaint 
church near the park had just struck the hour of 
ten and, for two long hours, Beatrice St. George 
had now been waiting in the darkness for Fran- 
cois. And still he did not come. She was sure 
something had happened and her poor heart 
trembled with fear, and now for the fifth time she 
entered the dear, little church, and knelt in front 
of the humble statue of Our Lady above which 
several pale lights were burning— clear and sus- 
pended in the darkness, like fiery stars. And 
again her fingers waddered sadly over her cher- 
ished beads. 

Shortly afterwards, there were footsteps on the 
pavement; the distant sound became clearer and 
clearer, and, presently, a staggering man passed 
the little church. It was Francois. His face 
was pale, his lips were bloodless, and he was rav- 
ing in a mad delirium. The drug was doing its 
deadly work. 

"Beatr; ;! Beatrice!" he cried out sorrow- 
fully, bv. ine gentle breeze, blowing through the 
lonely avenue of maplv-« alone made answer. On 
he stumbled, into the park near by, little know- 
CIS?) 



laa 



POR I.OVK'S OWN SAKF. 




ing whither he wa:* going. The whole earth was 
swimming before his eyes and he was hurrying 
on blindly and his mind was being tossed about 
madly by merciless winds of thought. Poor, 
poor man I He was unconscious of everything 
about him and on he ran, muttering inaudible 
words to the spectral night that lay over the city 
like some evil, broodjng spirit— dark and un- 
fathomable. 

Presently a woman descended the steps of the 
old church, and, wrapping her warm woolen 
shawl about her, halted on the pavement and 
listened eagerly for a moment. It was Beatrice. 
The winds were now beginning to settle and the 
night was getting brighter, for through a dark 
mass of clouds, the moon was peeping serenely 
and, presently, she burst forth in all her splendor, 
flooding the whole city with her sombre gleams 
of silver light. Beatrice was happy, for a new 
hope had suddenly risen on the darkened border 
of her wild despair, as her eyes fell upon some 
white object on the pavement directly ahead of 
her. In a minute she was there and picked it 
up. It was a handkerchief, and, on raising it to 
the light, she read upon it the name of Francois 
Fortier. Her blood almost stood still in her 
veins; a feeling of weakness came upon her, as 
she stood there motionless, her eyes fixed upon 
the moon and the glorious, blue sky, gemmed 
with fiery stars. 



FOR love's own sakr. 



l.'K 



There was an almost wild look of suffering on 
her face as she hastened through the park, her 
little beads dangling down at her side and her 
bloodless lips, tuned to some sweet prayer. 

Francois Fortier was now wandering through 
the dense willow groves in the park, near the 
banks of the foaming and splashing waters, that 
thundered loudly into the bright moonlight 
around. 

"The sea was all a boiling, seething froth, 
And God Almighty's guns were going off 

And the land trembled ' ' 

but Francois heard and .saw nothing. He was 
now walking along the verj- edge of the bank 
and, had not the strong arm of a woman pulled 
him back, he would have stumbled into that 
deep, hissing, wild abyss of angry water below. 
Just then the moon peered through the willows, 
and one could see the pale face of the frightened 
woman. It was Beatrice. 

"OGodI 'tis Francois," she exclaimed as fresh 
tears trickled into her sunless eyes. "But how 
strange he looks! Speak! Speak Francois! 'Tis 
Beatrice who calls thee. " 

But not a word passed his trembling lips. His 
tired, blood-shot eyes wandered aimlessly to the 
woman's face. He sighed deeply, but that was 
all, and mechanically Beatrice led him to a bench 
near by, and sitting him down, held his droop- 



140 



FOR LOVK'S OWN SAKE. 



'■V 



ing head in her strong amis. And slowly his eyes 
closed, while he drifted into a sound, healthful 
sleep, which lasted some hours. The warm rose 
color gradually returned to his cheeks; his face 
was getting brighter, and, when he opened his 
eyes again, Beatrice's heart gave one wild throb 
of joy. At first he seemed dazed, but, when his 
eyes wandered to that dear face, bending over 
him, hesaid: "Ah, Beatrice, it is you; how good 
of you!" Then he told her of all that had hap- 
pened in that smoke-filled room at the Hotel 
Frontenac; but she only smiled, and, raising 
herself proudly, placed her hand on his young 
shoulder and said, somewhat softly: "Is that 
all? Ah! what is money, after all? Francois 
you have brains and an honest heart, and I — I 
have two strong arms, that can work for Life's 
bitter crust of bread. Let the past take care of 
itself! There is a futtjre awaiting us, in which 
we may yet taste the sweets of a new-born 
happiness." 

Francois Fortier raised his fresh, young face 
tohersand, trembling with emotion, said: "Beat- 
rice, I will throw all my wasted years behind me 
and, by the grace of God, from this night on, I 
will live a better and a purer life. To-morrow I 
will call in to see good Father Stanislaus for I 
feel, that this night, my soul has been saved 
from deep ruin. To Thy far-seeing guidance, O 



FOR love's own sake. 



141 



heavenly Father, I now commit my future." 
Then his voice grew hoarse, the tears rolled 
down his ruddy cheeks and there was an expres- 
.sion of sadness on his young and handsome face 
as he said: 

"Ah! who am I that God hath saved 

Me from the doom, I did desire, 
And crossed the lot myself had craved. 

To let me higher? 
What have I done that He should bow 

From Heaven to choose a wife for me? 
And what deserved, he should endow, 

My home with THEE." 
Then he took Beatrice's warm hand in his 
own, and there was a look of determination in 
his sparkling eyes as he said, somewhat sad- 
ly: "Forgive me, Beatrice, for my wayward- 
ness! This week I will make a general confes- 
sion, and I will seek the Saviour, in his tabern- 
acle, from Whom I have been estranged so many 
years. I swear it!" And he raised his eyes to 
the blue sky above him and piously made the 
sign of the cross. 

It had been a happy night for Beatrice after 
all, and, as they paseed the little church again, 
she could not help repeating to herself the poet's 
tender lines: — 

"Manlike is it to fall into sin. 
Fiendlike is it to dwell therein; 



r= 




142 



FOR LOVE'S OWN SAKE. 



Christlike is it for sin to grieve, 
Godlike is it all sin to leave." 

Then her lips moved and an angel in heaven 
recorded another prayer of thanksgiving from a 
grateful, noble heart. 

The next evening Francois Fortier knelt in 
the confessional, and good old Father Stanislaus, 
spoke tenderly to him. "The sacred blood of 
Jesus," he said, "will wash out all the stains 
that sin has made upbn your soul. It was on 
Calvary's Cross that a merciful Saviour suffered 
for just such sins as yours, dear child. The good 
Lord is always pleased to welcome back his err- 
ing children. He is a kind and merciful Father 
and, ag^in, he speaks his ivords of love and sym- 
pathy to you, dear child: — "Come unto Me, 
all you, who ate weary and sorrow-laden, and I 
will give you rest." Kneel my son, with 
penitent heart, in the shadow of the Cross of 
Calvary, and He will forgive you. Bury your 
Past here to-night in this confessional, and face 
the morning of your rosy future, with new am- 
bitions, new hopes and a pure heart. God bless 
youl Remember me in your prayers, my son!" 

That evening as Francois knelt in the light of 
the lamp of the sanctuary there were tears of joy 
on his blushing cheeks, while his lips whisper- 
ed to his grateful soul: "Oh! what a weight is 
lifted from my heart! Oh! I am so happy!" 



FOK I.OV8 S OWN SAKE. 



143 



Two weeks later, the bells of the old Francis- 
can church rang out their silver p^als of glad- 
ness over the sunny, thatched roofs of the city. 
That morning Beatrice St. George and Francois 
Fortier were married by the gentlehearted Father 
Stanislaus. 

Fifteen years have passed since that happy 
day. Francois Fortier, just in the prime of life, 
is now the proprietor of one of the largest man- 
ufacturing concerns in New York city and never, 
since that memorable night in the Hotel Fron- 
tenac, has he held a card in his hand again. 

Mrs. Fortier is as happy as a lark in her home 
on West Sixteenth Street. Her two children, 
a boy and a girl, are all in all to her, and she is 
never so happy, as when in the presence of her 
darlings. The only sorrows, that, darken her 
bright fyture, are thoughts of her dear father, in 
that far-off Canadian city. In all these fifteen 
years, she has never neglected writing him — ^but 
never a line comes back to cheer her longing and 
troubled heart. 

Christmas was drawing near, and one evening 
she said to her husband, ' 'Francois, will you do 
me a favor?' ' 

"Certainly, dear. I will be only too happy." 

"Well, then, let us make a novenal Offer up 

your prayers for my intention I I cannot tell you 



144 



FOk LOVK S OWN SAKB. 



; 1" jf 



w 

ft 
I h 

%' 
iSii 



1l 



what it is at present but, some day, you sliall 
know, dear — some day!" 

The nine days ended on Christmas morning, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Fortier both received Holy 
Communion, while the air was ringing with 
jubilant glorias of praise. 

On their return from Mass, Mrs. St. George 
found several letters in the Christmas mail. One 
of them bore a Canadian postmark and, .some- 
what nervously, she opened it first. Imagine 
her surprise when she read the following: 
My own de?r child! 

Forgive your poor father for all his coldness of 
heart. Fifteen long years have passed, since 
last I saw your dear face and, in all these fifteen 
years, I have been so unhappy. Dear Beatrice, 
I received all your many kind, affectionate letters 
and often I wept for hours after I had read them, 
and when I tried to answer them, I could not 
write a single line. The cruel and relentless 
father that I had been, I felt unworth/ even to 
write a single word to you. I know that I treat- 
ed you shamefully, nay, disgracefully, Beatrice, 
but oh! it was my pride and my bad temper that 
drove me to it all. Now, I realize, when it is 
too late, how sinful it was of me. Count Albert- 
ini is dead. Shortly, after your marriage, he re- 
turned to Italy and, several months later, I read 
of his having been murdered in a gambling den 



FOR LOVR'S OWN SAK8. 



145 



m Naples. Thus ended this miserable man 
who brought into this world the bitter cross 
apon which the last fifteen yea« of l y life have 
been crucified. Forgive me, dear child! For- 
give me. Francois-fc>r God knows I have suffer- 
ed enough I 

And now, my dear children. I must tell you 
something, which no doubt will surprise you 
and I am sure you will be delighted. Yesterday 
morning at eight o'clock, I was baptized a Cath- 
olic by Father Stanislaus, in the very church 
you were married in just fifteen years ago, and 
this morning, I received my first Holy Com' 
munion. Constance Burke knelt at my side. 
Oh! rejoice with me. for this has been the hap- 
piest day in all my life. This, then, is my 
Chnstmas surprise for you-but there is still 
another ,n store. To-night I leave for New 
York. I am coming to spend the remainder of 
my days with you and the children. Father 
Stanislaus and good old Constance Burke accom- 
pany me, and they will spend their holidays 
wfth you. Again, then, dear children. I en- 
treat yon, forgive and forget! 

Your penitent father, 

HARVEY ST. GEORGE. 
When Mrs. Fortier finished reading the letter 
she cned out gladly, while teats of joy were toll ' 
ing down her sott cheeks: "O God be praised! 



146 



FOR LOVE'S OWN SAKE. 



The prayer is answered. Oh I my heart breaks 
with joyi ReadI Francois, readl" and she 
handed him the letter. 

And, together they stood on that bright Christ- 
mas morning, under the beautifully moulded 
arches of the drawing room, decorated with holly 
and mistletoe— their lives turned to a new joy, 
and their eyes, gazing, far beyond the frosty 
gates of the morning, into the golden mist of the 
future. 1 



% 



A VOICE IN THE NIQHT-WINDS. 

The shades of night — dark and gloomy — had 
fallen upon a peaceful Canadian city. In its de- 
serted streets the wild November winds were tear- 
ing madly through the naked willows. Nature 
was singing her saddest songs. The old Profes- 
sor's face bore a few lines of care, as he sat in 
his cheerful little study, while the cold, drizzling 
rain was beating a soft tattoo upon the window- 
pane, adding a tone of pity to the otherwise soli- 
tary moan of Autumn. 

I could not help admiring the kind, old, gray- 
haired man hciore me. His face was one that 
always inspired me with kindlier thoughts. 
There was a wealth of sweetness in his smile, 
and in his eyes one could see the reflection of the 
true, pure soul within. He was advanced in the 
seventies— this noble old oak that had withstood 
the blasts of many winters. His form was erect 
and his step firm, but he still loved to meet the 
boys— "his" boys he called them— at his daily 
classes in University Hall. He was active and 
studious, notwithstanding his years. Often, yes, 
very often, we could see a dim, pale light in the 
Professor's study, and the old, gray-haired man 
(147) 



148 



A VOICE IN THE NIGHT-WINDS. 



! •• 



! 



ii;;; 



bending over his books, long after the lonely 
midnight bad extinguished her starry lamps in 
the heavens. 

On this particular night I )ust happened to 
drop in on the Professor, and was surprised to 
find him in a depressed and melancholy mood, 
for he, of all mortals, appeared to possess the 
sunniest and brightest of dispositions. He was 
sitting in his quaint old armchair and when I en- 
tered his face brightened, but it was only for a 
moment. < 

The fire in the grate was burning low, and the 
sparks, glowing with light, leaped and died 
away, like the sunbeams of a departing day. 
Suddenly he raised himself in his chair, and, in 
a tone of sweetness, said to me: "Do you hear 
the plaintive strains the winds are singing to- 
night? They make me sad, and well they may. 
This is the month of the poor souls, and, do you 
know, I have been sitting here for several hours 
saying my beads, for, in the voices of these lone- 
ly November-winds, I seem to hear nothing but 
the cries and pleadings of those suffering ones, 
those prisoners of the Christ-King, who thiist 
for the sunshine of God's pure smile." 

Then he turned slightly, and there was a mo- 
mentary pause. I looked up at him, and in his 
eye a tear glistened. Glancing about the room, 
at the shelves that held volumes and volumes of 



A VOICE IN THK NIGHT-WINDS. 



140 



history and literature, he exclaimed— and his 
voice had a tone of pity in it: "Ah, ray booksl 
Cherished and silent friendsl You beckon me 
in vain. Often you cheered me in ray weary 
hours, but to-night you cannot win my spirits." 
The old Professor then rose and stirred the fii« 
in the grate. The rain was still falling and the 
winds were still chanting their weary monotones. 
He iwused and stood in the middle of the room 
and listened, while a smile brightened his coun- 
tenance. I was rude enough to ask the meaning 
of the smile, and he murmured softly: "I only 
looked down the pathway of the years, and I 
heard the songs of my youth vibrate through the 
lonely corridors of Time— and I was happy. 
That is all." 

Then sinking into the old armchair, and 
opening an old diary that lay upon the table, he 
read the following tender lines: 
' 'When night has come and all the world is stilL 
And sweet the shadows dance about at will 
And chase each other round the old, old room, 
Where oft I sit in silence and in gloom, 
'Tis then my thoughts, by music borne along, 
Awake the echoes of my youthful song. 
That lingers soft entrancing and reveals 
The wealth of joy that the dead Past conceals— 
And on the wings of Mem'ry long it sways 
That joyful peal— the song of childhood's days. " 



150 



A VOICK IN THK NIOHT-WINDS. 



Nervously his fingers turned over a few p*ge>, 
and his mellow voice again filled the room, as he 
slowly read: 

' ' My thoughts do sigh and leap far o'er the brink 
Of misty years. In vain sad tears conceal 
The noble face, that smiled upon my way 
And cheered me on. Yet, O that moumfnl day, 
When last I saw its sweet smile fade and steal— ^ 
My heart was crushed— dark clouds spread over- 
head; 
I stood alone and wep^; a friend lay dead." 

When he had finished, he closed the book, 
and long he gazed upon a little picture in front 
of him, and murmured: "Ah! that noble &cel 
My mother's! In memory it is dear to me still, 
with its look, so bright and tender, so noble and 
consoling. The soft, sweet smile that kissed her 
silver locks glows just as brightly as in the long 
ago; it lingers o'er my pathway j^et and lures me 
on. The snow-white locks, the wrinkled brow, 
the tender eyes — ^the homes of love and pity — 
ah I can I ever forget them? Can I ever forget 
how, in the summers of my childhood, she caress- 
ed and fondled me in her loving arms and kiss- 
ed my tears away? 'Tis ! ig since then, my 
child, and now she, too, sleeps sweetly in her 
grave. In Spring the violets- bend their little, 
blue heads to kiss her breast and the birds softly 
sing their gentle requiems. Do you know, my 



A VOICK IN THR NIGHT-WINDS. 



151 



boy, I hear my mother's voice in these pleading, 
sobbing, November vinds. She is calling me, 
and I feel that these pleasant haunts will not 
claim me much longer and death to me soon will 
be doubly sweet. " 

I tried to steer the dear old man's thonght'- 
into pleasanter channels, and, in a measure at 
least, succeeded. He spoke of his early days at 
college, its joys, its hopes, its disappointments. 
His eloquence stirred my heart to nobler purpos- 
es, nobler thoughts. He recounted his days at the 
University, and reviewed the motley company of 
young men that had pased out of its sacred portals 
into the vast arena of life. Then his thoughts 
stole back to the days of his childhocid. His thin, 
pale fingers still held fast the cherished beads. In 
his eyes the tears glistened, and on his lips there 
waji the motion of a prayer. 'Cherish the tradi- 
tions and teachings of your childhood's days, ' ' he 
said to me. ' 'They hold for you, my boy, an end- 
less boon of joy. What memories cluster - .und 
the happy scenes of child life! Memories » pure 
and sweet, whose sacred voices will echo through 
the silence of past golden years and bring yon 
joy when life's last shades are gathering. My 
mind is filled with thoughts like these, and my 
dear mother is the burden of them all. She it 
was who fashioned my career and made my early 
life so pleasant and profitable. She it was who 



'i 


1 




H 


m 




N 


I 


1 


!!■ 


P 





in 



162 



A VOICK IN THK MOHT-WINIM. 



often told my youthful heart thase fond, sweet 
stories which ever delight children — tales of 
fairies and their princely castles, tales of heroes 
and warriors of a bygone day. Some of them 
are forgotten, but one still clings to the memory 
of scenes in childhood's sunny da>-s. Its most 
cherished frejments still remain. Listen, then, 
my boy, to this sweet and tender tale." 

The kind Professor settled himself into a more 
comfortable position, and then began: 

"Many, many year^ ago, among the sunny, 
vine-clad hills of Prance, there dwelt an organ- 
builder — Pierre by name. He was young and 
handsome — as fair a picture as the heart of 
woman could desire — manly in form, though 
young in face, with dark-brown, ItistTQus eyes 
and a pale, creamy complexion which intensified 
the roses on his cheeks. Then, too, there was 
the expression of a wealth of tenderness in his 
smile that ever lingered upon hb noble features. 
All in all, his face was a picture of honesty; kind- 
ness, too, shone forth in the twinkle of his eye, 
and^ many a poor one forgot not to mention the 
name of Pierre in his evening prayers. 

"Pierre had built many organs of the sweetest 
tone and the finest workmanship. His last effort, 
however, surpassed all expectations, and when 
the organ was finished, Pierre's handsome &ce 
glowed with joy, and, bending his knees, he 



A VOICK IS THR NIOHT-WINDS. 183 

raised his .pint in prayer to Heaven in thanks, 
giving to God. 

f-thi.* ^"^^^ T ^'"* '••'* •*»" '*'' without 
Sl^dertH""",'"''' i" *"• '«*-v«nent Father 
^1^ .'u"™'"' f^'yh'i^d priest and 
Pedagogneof the village, had been to him father 
and constant friend. He loved the good prie^ 

«.ntly father, he placed the wonderful organ he 
had ,ust fi„«hed in the village church. The 
p*ople from far and near came to see the young 
organ-builder's wonderful masterpiece 

"Whenever the church bell announced a wedd 
ing and the happy bride entered the church the 

organmthe old choir loft would of its own ac^ 

U seemed as if unseen fingers had stirred the cold 
Jvoty keys to music; so sweet was it, that it 
sounded like the song, of angels-.„ ^.o t,m 
another world. 

"The peasants of the village were surprised 

they could not. The music. like a breath from 
Heaven^ had stolen over them, and they knelt 
thereabsorbedinrapture. No one could explain 

to Z"„"i? T^ "f ^"^"' """^ ''«^°'" ^ito« 
to the old stone church on the hill was Lucille, 



154 



A VOICK IN THE NIGHT-WINDS. 



the only child of Francois Lablanc, a poor and 
humble planter. The suns of twenty summers 
had warmed the roses in her cheek, and her soft 
brown hair hung in tresses over her comely 
shoulders. She was a modest maiden , and many 
were the admiring eyes riveted upon her as she 
knelt absorbed in prayer, at Mass on Sundays. 
Her serene expression resembled that of the gen- 
tle Madonna. None loved her more than Pierre. 
They had been playmates from childhood, and, 
when Father Felicien announced that Pierre and 
Lucille were to be married, no one was surprised 
and all rejoiced. 

' 'The wedding day arrived in due time. When 
Pierre led his bride across the threshold of the 
old gray church, his heart throbbed wildly in its 
beats of pride and ambition. An awful change 
had taken place in the heart of our hero. He 
little thought of his bride — much less of his God. 
His one absorbing idea was Am own greatness. 
His mind dwelt upon his wonderful organ and 
on the praise people would bestow upon him, 
when it would play again of its own accord upon 
/^Mr entry into the church. Such then wei 'lis 
thoughts as he passed into the village church 
with Lucille. 

"They advanced slowly — but alas I the organ 
was as silent as the tomb; not a sound of music 
stirred the air. Pierre's heart sank, for be 



A VOICK IN THE NIGHT-WINDS. 



156 



thought in his own base pride, that it was an 
omen— a message sent from Heavento warn him 
of some fault or shortcoming in his beloved 
Lucille— she who was so good, so noble, so pure. 
Could she, then, have been false to him, the girl 
he knew as a child, whom he loved as a woman? 
Was she to seal the marriage ceremony with a 
treacherous lie? 

"The whole day passed and not a word did 
Pierre speak to his innocent bride and when 
night threw her dusky mantle over the sleeping 
village, he secretly stole away through his open 
window, and, in his heart, bade good-bye to 
Lucille forever. Forever, did I say? 

"He wandered on and on, from town to town, 
over hills and over plains, unnoticed and un- 
known. Finally he reached a new country 
where he settled, a stranger amongst strangers. 
For fifteen years he dwelt there, and miserable 
years they were. His was no longer the ruddy 
face of youth; wrinkles of pain and despair had 
driven away his sunny smile. One day his 
heart was breaking with longing for the home of 
his childhood and his abandoned wife. He re- 
membered how good and pious Ludlle had been 
—a veritable lily of France— and he, how base 
suspecting and false. He tried to banish thea^ 
thoughts, but alasl the longing desire would not 
be appeased. Was he then, going mad? His 



156 



A VOICE IN THE NIGHT-WINDS. 



^:f! 



very thoughts seemed to eat into his heart's flesh 
and leave their wounds bleeding "there. 

"At last he decided to return and beg forgive- 
ness. By day and night he journeyed towards 
the home of his youth; the nearer he approached 
the stronger grew his longing and the deeper his 
anxiety. And Lucille? Would she ever be able 
to forgive him— to forget all? He had traveled 
for months, and his joufney was now nearing its 
end. One morning he saw in the distance the 
tower of the village church rising from the sun- 
kissed horizon; the cross-tipped spire was golden 
in the sunlight. His heart beat wildly within 
him. Did the cross that had so often smiled up- 
on him in the long ago again inspire hope, that 
he sped on so eagerly with renewed strength and 
vigor? 

"The peasants were just on the way to the 
vineyards for their daily work. He passed them 
by in silence; no one recognized him- he was so 
changed. A few spoke, in an undertone, words 
which Pierre could not understand. One in pass- 
ing said to a companion, 'He is either a thief or 
a fool.' 

■ 

"When he reached the gate of the city he was 
panting for breath. His whole frame was trem- 
bling like an aspen leaf in a thunder-storm. A 
funeral procession was slowly coming down the 
street, and a crowd of people, young and old. 



I ':U 



A VOICK IN THK NIOHT-WINUS. 167 

were bringing up the rear. Nearer and nearer 

wT' , f » ° ""^ «««ni« in him the long- 
ost P,«Te? All passed him by and none deign«i 

1 *^~ . ^^^ procession was moving on— 
the coffin borne by loving hands, covered with 
wreaths of beautiful flowers, was accompanied 
by a crowd of weeping villagers. 

"Pi«Te could resist no longer and, in a scarce- 
ly audible tone, muttered: 'Whom, good peo- 
ple, do you bury that you weep so?' An old 
gray-haired woman heard and answered- 'Ah! 
U IS the wife of the organ-builder; the wicked 
man left her fifteen years ago; she was so good 
and k.nd to everyone. The poor, dear Lu 
How we shaU mrss her! Sh. was a mother to 
tte poor children of the village. Seel how their 
tears are falling in gratitude. They say her cross 
was hard to bear, but she bore it patiendy 
«iough God knowsl And now they are taking 
her to the little church on the hill, in which 
they will buo- her.' 

"LuciUel mypoorLucillel— DeadI My God I 
Have I—' It was a piercing cry. Pierre had 
spoken and now he stood speechless. His face 
was white with horror, his bitter tears fell fast 
A moment later he sprang to the side of the 
coffin and joined the mourning throng; there his 
sobs and sighs passed unnoticed for all wen 
weeping. 



168 



A VOICE IN THK NIGHT-WINDS. 



■'<r 



"The procession had now reached its destina- 
tion and, when the pall-bearers had crossed the 
threshold of the church, the organ in the choir- 
loft began, of its own accord to play again — 
sweeter than it had ewr played before, sweeter 
than an organ was ever known to play. 

"All eyes were wet with tears. Old men and 
women, fathers, mothers, children — all wept. 
The coflSn was placed ^fore the altar. The or- 
gan's voice now rose and fell in notes alternately 
of joy and of regret. All ears listened. It seemed 
as if the heavens had opened and the voices of 
the angels had united in strains of forgiveness — 
so wonderfully sweet was the music. 

"Pierre clung fast to the pillar at the foot of 
the altar. He was weak. The journev of weeks 
had wearied him. His eyes were closed, and, 
upon his lips, there moved the message of a pray- 
si. Yet he was not sad; his face bore a look of 
joy, for he knew by the voice of the pealing or- 
gan — he had heard the song and understood all 
— that God had forgiven him. And, when the 
last, soft, sweet note of that song of forgiveness 
had died away, Pierre reeled, staggered, and fell 
on the stony pavement — dead. 

"Then Father Felicien softly folded Pierre's 
hands on his breast. The enchanted organ played 
a slow and tender requiem aetemam and grad- 
ually the sweet, pure notes died away iittatiie 



A VOICE IN THE NIGHT-WINDS. 159 

plaintive tones of a dies ir<u. Then the organ 
stopped and its voice was hushed forever " 

.^„I?'• 1^ ^""^^ ^""^ ~°^ *° '»"«= «d of his 

S'"? "^ '^\''°"'= ^'^^ *« hour of mid- 
night. I was loth to go; for. I knew that I was 
m the presence of a good and noble man-' 'a 
palace of sight and sound." as Emerson once 
wrote, carrying in his senses the morning and 
themght. and the unfathomable galaxy; in his 
brain the geometry of the city of God; in his 
heart the power of love and the realms of rieht 
and wrong. " When he bade me farewell at the 
door the ram was still falling; the sighing No- 
vember winds still spoke in-pleading voices 
Again he listened, and a strange, glad light crepi 
into his anxious eyes. 

thJ^I"^"*^/""""^ ''"«'" and clear, with 
the twittenng of sparrows in the lonely wiUows 

r.^^ °^ ^ P**°*^ *« ««st«^ horizon 
and the rising sun peeped out over the distant 
purple hills. The college campus was dS^S" 
"tJ the fll"'"*' °l'*Gothic towers oftheS«: 
^J^ ^u '"''*.'" ''«"-«««»• Through the 

^^ T l^'' '"t"'"' ^'•y- " fc'' y^ back 
from the street, the sunbeams were stealing but 
by no meaqs disturbing the genUe old Profisor 
m his great arm-chair. In his hands were 
twined the cherished wooden beads. Hislyw 



I If 



160 



A VOICK IN THE NIGHT-WINDS. 



He had heard his mother's voice above the 
sighing November winds — and had responded to 
the call. He had reached his heavenly home. 



LIOMT BEYOND THE STARS. 

Chapter I. 

"Gmrude, you look sad this afternoon. Why 
what „ the matter, child?" asked Mrs. Gniy^' 

had finished reading. Just then a girl tnmed 
her head slightly, like a frightened d^. sS 
was barely eighteen-a lily with all itTTweS^ 
^v^yet folded-slight and gracefit XS 

sweetness half of innocence. Her little head 
co^ with ripples of deep black ha^r. "« 

eyes were large, tender, living eyes, capable of 
changing with ever, thrill of em^n. The had 
been sitting there, in the winter twilight eLiJ^ 
.dly into the deserted, snow-filled sZ,'^^^ 
the vo«e of Mn.. Grayson snddenlTS ed h« 

^TtTdiT T r '^ ""' ''''^^'' "'^-«y 

ed by tender feeling, she answered: 

T«i^^ ^ "" Md-and why should I not be? 

and oh what a gloomy day it was for me. 1 

was just a day like this, with «Ulen skies Wtw 

winds and heavy snowfalls. Yes. ^r;^'^ 

(161) 



162 



LIORT BBYOND TRB STAKS. 



left the city of the dead, that awful morning, I 
knew that I had left my best friend behind. 
Poor, dear motherl To think that thon must 
sleep in that lonely, snow-covered gravel" 

The tears crept into Gertrude's eyes, and she 
was silent for a few minutes. Then again she 
went on: 

"But, Mrs. Grayson, you have been so good 
to me, and I am grateful. You have been to me 
a second mother, and it pains me deeply to think 
that I will some day have to leave you. ' ' 

"Leave me, Gertrude? Why, what do you 
mean?" asked Mrs. Grayson. 

"I mean that I intend to go away. I am not 
happy here, though you have been g^oodness 
itself to me. The world is empty and cold, and 
I am going to sacrifice all its pleasures and pomps 
for the convent. Yes, Mrs. Grayson, I am go- 
ing, and I will spend life's remaining days there. 
I have chosen my vocation, and when the happy 
day arrives, and I receive the hnmble habit and 
^il of a nun. oh then my fondest hope will he. /e 
been realized, then my dearest prayer will have 
been answered." 

"Gertrude Ferguson, are yon really serious?" 
questioned Mrs. Grayson, half uneasily. "Child, 
this is a foolish fancy of yours. I am a Protes- 
tant, and I cannot understand how you Catholic 
girls can sacrifice all life's gayeties for the dull, 



IIOHT BHVOND THK STAM. 108 

your dying, mother «4ed me to uTmct^? 
her only child I swon. that 1 wouM Ji^J^ 

«e forever. But. Gertrude, if itTyour^J^ 
why. I have nothing to sav Ho-.™-- ' 

quite youn,.andyoJne^'be if r;^!!::,^ 
stay with me a while longer. • • "°"y-» do 

,„?tr™l" *"•* "°* answer, but sighed deeply 

Then^he^T^T" "^ ""^ ^^'''y '^ft '»>* ^m 
Thenshesank down upon the sofa, and againh* 

thoughts stole back to that lonely k« fn « Hif 

tant country churchyarf. and h^^moviit" 

mytT, while the shadows were crJ^^^l 

•ly around the «.ent. cosy draw^S 

E,^"'~^ ^ '*" '^-°-" •" "d -round 

al^n«".ndVJ:?'"'''* "P * ""^'^^'e 
•tppcarance. and lived as much as noMiki. i-i. 

!y doubled or trebled their own ^,-7^7 ^ 
*»|i* -to'l-ple who s^^dev^':^"^ 
outward .ppear.nce.and when Mr. S« 5iS 



164 



LIGHT BKYOHD THK STARS. 



everybody had it th«t surely now Mrs. Geoffrey 
Orayaon would have to come down from her once 
lofty pedeataL But no. Mrs. Graywn had made 
up her mind at the ontaet that lAe would dress aa 
weU as she ever did, and she accomplished her 
object, and was more than ever a slave to Dame 
Fashion. Her bonnets, cloaks and gowns were 
made after the latest Parisian patterns, and she 
had a collection of diamonds that would have 
maddened the heart of any woman with pnde. 
She had an only child. The boys at the Club 
Sans Souci called him W^- He was not mote 
than twenty-five, and the pride he had inhented 
from his patents found a favorable nidus in his 
young heart, and burst forth in all its virulence. 
Through his dead father'sinflnence, JaA had re- 
ceived an appwntment as cashier in a large loan 
office. The salary, however, was not over great, 
but there were good chances for promotion. 

It was the last day of the old year, and Jack 
Grayson was sitting at his books balanang up 
the monthly account. A shadow of despair crept 
into his young face, and his fingers trembled 
visibly, as he counted up the long rows of figur«. 
"A shortage of two hundred dollars!" he gasped, 
wildly. "How can I ever make it up? How 
foolish of me to have taken out just four times 
the amount of my monthly salary! But oh—the 
debts were crushing, this high life was crippUng 



LIGHT BIYOND THK STARS. 



lae 



me. I was going msd. But what am I now, oh 
God, but a liar and a thiei" 

He torned sickly pale, and buried Us turn in 
his hands. 

"The money must be in the safe to-night," he 
groaned, hoanely, "if not, then— oh. my Ood, I 
see it all. I will be diadiarged, and disgraced 
—oh wicked wretch that I ami" 

He was silent for a moment, and heavy beads 
of perspiration were forming on his cold forehead. 
His eyes opened staringly. His pen fell to the 
floor, and he whispered to himself: 

"I have it. Mother's diamond broochi Ahl 
it will serve my purpose. I will steal the valu- 
able jewel from the casket on her dresser— and 
pawn it. It will bring me the two hundred dol- 
lars. Ha, hat She will never suspect me. Two 
months ago to-day I ofiered my heart, my hand 
to Gertmde. I loved the girl, but she spumed 
my offer. Now the hour has come in which I 
will do my deadly work. A mother has no right 
to shelter the girl who offered an insult to her 
son. I will turn my mother's heart to bitter 
hatred by fastening the theft of the brooch upon 
— upon Gertrude Ferguson." 

Just then a wild, cutting laugh rang through 
the empty office, and in another minute Jack 
Graysmi disappeared in the crowds that were 
thronging along King street. Just as he was 
turning the comer he met his mother. 



166 



UOHT BIVOND THK xTAM. 



i 



"Ah, Jackl Where are you going?" the aak- 
cd, pleasantly. 

"I am going home for dinner, mother. TUa 
it my busy day," answered he, hnakily. 

"Yon may tell Oertrade, then," the added, 
"that I'll have dinner at two o'clock. TUa ia 
the night of Mra. Cathcart'a New Year party, 
Jack, and I have not yet ordered the flowers." 

Pifteen minntes later. Jack Grayson unlocked 
the door of his mother's private boudoir. In 
another minute the casket on the dresser was 
open— and there lay tlie crested diamond brooch 
in all its brightness. Quickly he grasped it and 
placed it in his pocket. Then he drew forth a 
tiny, embroidered handkerchief, which he had 
just procured in one of the upstair rooms. A 
hideous smile stole over his ugly face, and he 
chuckled lustily, as the perfumed handkerchief 
fell to the floor. Upon it was worked the name 
of Gertrude Ferguson. A moment later the 
door was locked, and Jack placed the keys where 
' he had found them. 

The city clock had just struck the hour of 
eight. The night was bright and chilly, and the 
moon was flooding the city with her golden 
gleams of light. The streets were filled with 
dark, surging masses of busy people; all hearts 
were longing patiently for the dawning of th< 
New Yeat^— the year that was to bring joy to 
some and sorrow to others. 



LIGHT BKVONU THX STARS. 



167 



Oertrade Ferguson was in excellent spirits. 
Her pare, young heart throbbed gladly within 
her as she rose from the piano and began to 
twine branches of holly and mistletoe around the 
huge drawing room mirrors. She could not ■re- 
press her inner feelings, and suddenly a rippk of 
girlish laughter sounded through the room. 
Then she burst into a song. It was the :<w(eiest 
of music. It was like the song of a laik, .o clear, 
so sweet and tender. Again the wordx stolt up- 
on the silent air — louder than before: 
"Let OS gBther up the tunbcmm*. 

Lying alt around our path; 
Let u« keep the wheat and roics, 

Caiting out the thorns and chaff. 
Let ua And onr greateit comfoit 

In the bleaaiogt of to.day. 
With a patient hand remoTing 
All the brian from the way." 

Again her laughter filled tfae room. It was 
like the sound of a distant river — its rippling 
waves making music on the rocky ledges. 

Just then Jack Grayson passed through the 
hall, in his full-dress suit. He knocked at the 
door of his mother's private boudoir and asked: 

"Are you ready mother? The coachman is 
waiting." 

"In a few minutes, dear," came the an.swer, 
softly. 

Jack entered the drawing-room, and threw 



wb 



168 



LIGHT BEYOND THB STARS. 



himself on the sofa, and waited. Gertmde tam- 
ed her head and smiled, and Jack's face redden- 
ed. A few minutes later there was the sonnd of 
4. door opening, and, almost breathless, Mrs Oray- 
son sprang into the room, her face betraying 
very forcibly the varying emotions of chagrin, 
mortification and despair. She bestowed a 
searching glance upon her aon, and then her eyes 
were riveted upon Gertrude. Her teeth chatter- 
ed; she tried to speak, but the words stuck to her 
throat. Again her e^'es flamed with righteous 
indignation, and, in a hysterical tone of voice, 
she {I reused Gertrude of the theft of the missing 
jewel. 

Gertrude's face poled. She almost sank to the 
floor, but in a moment she was herself again. 
She raised her deep, blue, innocent eyes to the 
angry, stem, accusing face in front of her, and 
answered, tremulously: 

"Madam, it is ftiael I am innocent! I know 
nothing of the theft. In all these years I have 
never even dared to enter your private dressing 
room. How can you therefore blame m^ O 
GodI Thou knowest I am innocent " 

"You lie, girll This speaks for itself," thund- 
ered forth the enraged woman. "This hand- 
kerchief was found in front of my dresser. How 
did it get there? Now explain that if you can, 
innocent angel!" 



LIGHT BKVOND THE STARS. 



160 



Jack Grayson smiled bitterly, and, rising from 
tbe sofa, turned to his mother and said, in a sar- 
castic tone of voice: 

"Mother, I always told you that your heart 
would be stabbed by the cruel ingratitude of th:s 
thankless girl. That time has come. " 

Gertrude snatched the handkerchief from the 
haughty woman, and glancing down at the name, 
uttered an exclamation of surprise. Her 
cheeks paled, her eyes opened widely, and she 
fell to the sofa, trembling like a leaf, and wept 
like a child. 

Again Mrs. Grayson's shrill voice rang out 
wildly, like the cry of a woman going mad: 

"Gertrude, I do not believe you. Wretched, 
unhappy girl I Little did I dream that I was 
sheltering a thief. I have vo affection for yon 
any longer. The very sight of your face is hate- 
ful to me. Come, Jack, let us gol I feel little 
like enjoying myself this evening. Gertrude- 
Miss Ferguson, I mean — remember this affair is 
not settled yet. I will see you on the morrow. 
I am afraid it will be a sorry New Year for you." 

When Gertrude again raised her head from the 
sofa they were gone. She walked over to the 
piano, but she — poor girl — was in no mood for 
playing. Then she opened the front door and 
stepped out upon the large, open veranda, and 
looked out into the night. The clock on the 






170 



LIGHT bryonu tiik staks. 



m 



Cathedral tower yonder pointed the hour of ten. 
It was a glorious night, crowned above with a 
canopy of blue, gemmed with golden stars. The 
streets were still lively with people. In another 
two hours the New Year will be dawning, and 
there stood Gertrude, in the moonlight, and on 
her pun;, young face the lines of sorrow were 
deepening. 

Then under her breath, she whispered to the 
btisy night winds: 

"Heaven bless them for it all! I was hungry, 
and they gr.ve me bread; I waa sick, and they 
comforted me; I was an orphan, and they took 
me in. How can they think me so ungrateful? 
How can they accuse me? Ah no! I am inno- 
cent, and God in heaven knows it. That is 
enough. I know they love me no longer. Their 
soft, warm hearts are now cold as stone, and I 
will not bruise my feelings on ; ch barren, hard 
rocks. How foolish it is for me to worry sol I 
will pray to God to soften their hearts; I will 
pray to Him to open their eyes— and some day, 
some day. He will tell them all." 

When Mrs. Grayson and Jack returned home 
that evening Gertrude Ferguson was gone. On 
the drawing room table a note awaited them. It 
read: 

Dear Friends: I am truly poor and needy, 
yet I feel that I have been dependent upon your 



LIGHT BEYOND THE STARS. 



171 



charity long enough. I am leaving you to-night, 
to return no more. I forgive you both, and beg 
God to bless you for the kindness you have shown 
a homeless girl. As a parting gift I ask you to 
accept these little crucifixes for yourselves. 
Should we never meet in this world again, re- 
member that the heart of a grateful girl has not 
yet ceased beating for you. Once more, then, 
may God bless you and reward you for the kind- 
ness you have shown one whom you have known 
"" Gertrcdb Ferguson. 



Chaptrr II. 

Ten years had pasMd. The Graysons were 
preparing to leave EvansviUe for good. The 
Spanish-American War was on, and Jack had 
heard the voice of hb stricken country, crying 
for help. He had enlisted, and in a few days he 
was going to the fropt to fight— if needs, to die. 
It was a sad day for Mrs. Grayson, as she stood 
at the station, kissing her boy good-bye, and 
when the train was pulling out and the assembled 
crowds gave forth a few wild, frantic cheers, that 
fairly shook the city to its foundations. Jack 
waved his parting farewells to that lonely, weep- 
ing woman on the platform. And, asheraisedhis 
arm again and again, one could see a little cru- 
cifix hanging from his neck. His mother had 
tied it there that morning. "This," she said, 
with tears in her eyes, "is the one poor Gertrude 
left for you nearly ten years ago. The poor girl, 
I wonder where she is. Take her gift with you. 
I have worn mine all these years. The little 
cross will do you no harm — and, God knows— it 
may do my boy some good. ' ' 

Two months later Mrs. Grayson left for New 
York, to make her home with an only sister re- 
(172) 



LIGHT BEVOND THE STARS. 



173 



siding there. On her way to the depot that 
morning the postman handed her a letter. It 
was from Jack. It read: 

D«A« Mothbk: We are preparing for a long match 
up the country and I have only a few minutes to spare. 
Father McBrady, the dear old army chaplain, who has 
l>een so good to me, is waiting for this letter, so I must 
hurry. It was only yesterday I wrote you, but mother, 
something is troubling me and I must tell you all. For 
ten long years I have kept a sinful secret, and oh! you 
don't know how I have suflered. Mother, Gertrude 
Ferguson is innocent of the crime we accused her of. 
Just ten years ago this coming New Year's day I stole 
the brooch, to make up a shortage at the loan office. 
The handkerchief was Gertrude's, but I— I placed it 
there. I know I should have told you this long ago, 
but. mother, I could not. Foigiveme, then, and, if you 
ever meet Gertrude in this world, ask her to forgive me 
also— for Gcd knows, I have suffered enough. Your 
«'"'• JAC«. 

It was a cold and stormy night, late in January. 
Glaring, electric lights contrasted with grim, 
dark shadows upon the icy pavements of New 
York city. A cold wind was blowing and the 
streets were wcU-nigh deserted. A woman, 
wrapped in a heavy black shawl, was walking 
hurriedly np Lexington Avenue. Eagerly she 
crossed the street and dropped a letter into the 
mailing-box on the corner. It was Mrs Grayson. 

On her way home she had to pass St. Vincent 
Ferrer's Church. It was brightly illuminated 



..*! 



174 



LIGHT BBYOND TBI STAK8. 



and every window threw forth a welcome ray of 
light into the black, inky night arottnd. Un. 
Grayson halted before the sacred edifice. Bene- 
diction was being sung — and some strange power 
held her iast. She did not move a muscle, as 
she stood there and listened to the loud, majestic 
peals of the pipe organ, while its music floated 
out upon the wings of the lonely uight 

A moment later a soprano voice swayed by 
tender feeling, pou^ forth its pure, sweet, liq- 
uid notes. They were clear and joyous as a 
lark's, now rising, now falling. Never before 
had Madame Bonvini sung an "O Salntaris" 
with so much expression. Within the lofty edi- 
fice one could have heard a pin drop, and the 
immense congregation listened eagerly for every 
word that fell from the singer's lips. 
"O Saving Victim, opening wide 

The gate of Heaven to man below, 
Onr foes prem on from every aide, 

Thine aid aupply. Thy Mrength beMow." 

Mrs. Grayson drew nearer. That ringing voice 
spoke to her lonely heart and sought out every 
longing, every pain. It seemed as if Heaven 
itself had suddenly opened and an angel's voice 
was floating on the icy breath of night, so sweet 
was it — so wonderfully tender. 

A minute later the huge door swung open 
wide; there was a slight noise, and then it closed 



UOHT BBYOND THB STARS. 



176 



•gain. Mrs. Geofiny Grayson had entend St. 
'\^ncent'8 and was being ushered into a pew near 
the pulpit Again that sweet, pleading strain 
floated over the heads of the large congregation, 
and clearly the leading soprano sang: 
"To Thy great name be endleM prain. 

Immortal Godhead, one in thnel 
O grant ua endleta length of day* 

In onr tme native land with Thee." 

Almost unconsciously Mrs. Grayson sank upon 
her knees and buried her face in her hands; a 
strange, mysterious feeling was creeping over her 
restless heart, and the tears were gathering un- 
der her eyelids. When the "O Salutaris" was 
ended, she raised her misty eyes to the pulpit, 
and there stood Father Anselmo, the learned] 
white-robed Dominican, his innocent, saintly, 
religious face aflame with an almost celestial ex- 
pression. It was the opening night of the miss- 
ion, and the eloquent theologian was to deliver a 
series of sermons, and, later on, form a class for 
those of the Protestant belief who were anxious 
to study the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

Father Anselmo raised his hand to his forehead 
and piously made the sign of the cross. There 
was a momentary silence, then he began to speak. 
He spoke of life in the world as it is; of tempta- 
tion, sin, shame, disgrace. He told his hearers 
how Christ had suffered on the Cross of Calvar; 






m. 



Il ' 



m 



UOK'' BBVOND THK STARS. 



for their sins, and that each sin conunitted by 
them was said to be but another Calvary of sufier- 
ing for the heart of the merciful Saviour. He 
exhorted them most earn<;stly to live better and 
purer lives. Then he spo) ^ of Heaven— that 
home of eternal rest and h;irpiness, which would 
some day be theirs if the> would only follow the 
Master's precepts. He spoke slowly and dis- 
tinctly, as he pictured the beauties of that 
heavenly home beyond the skies, brightened and 
glorified by the sunshine of God's holy smile. 
The hearts of the people were stirred to their 
very depths. 

Mrs. Grayson in all her life before had never 
heard so eloquent a sermon. It was grand and 
impressive, and the good priest's words had sunk 
into her very soul. She went home that even- 
ing feeling better and happier for it all. The 
foUowii^ evening Mrs. Grayson again knelt in 
St. Vincent's Church. Father Anselmo preach- 
ed to large and interested congregations. Days, 
weeks, a month passed — and during this time 
Mrs. Grayson had been a constant attendant at 
the mission services. A change was coming up- 
on her. Her former self was gradually disappear- . 
ing, and Ac felt it. It was bang replaced by 
a nobler, freer, purer spirit, and she was happy. 
The distinguished preacher was doing untold 
good. His was veritably a harvest of souls. 



tIGHT BEYO.ND THK STARS. I77 



was 



<'*ily increasing 



His convert class 
numben. 

F.?r T '? P^brruuy. Mrs. Gtayaon called on 

' .pV°^ ""^ **'° '^''^ »-«' "«* kindly. 
Father. ,he said. ' I have come to see you 
and you must make me happy. I want > ou to 
make a Catholic out of >.e. I have attenid .U 
themissionservicessofaratSt. Vincent Fenw's 
and, of my own accord. I come to you. Will voii 
assist me, Father?" 

S^'^:. r"^"'^' «**^ *'»"»"• ' ■ •^'»«*d he. 
t^ ri ■ \'*'P'«*^ of "ouls is alway, willing 
to reclann sheep that havestrayed away from the 
Refold I shall only be too happy. It is my 
dutj-, and I shall do all I can for you. I mee^ 
my class every afternoon at four, and I shall be 
pleased to jee you among them to-morrow. I 
gave my first instruction yesterday. •' 

Father Anselmo shook hands in parting and 
smiled gently. " May God bless and guide her ■ • 
he whispered to himself, as he closed the doi.r 
and wended his way to the reception nwm. where 
other callers were awaiting him. 

The next afternoon Mrs. Grayson attended her 
first instruction. Father Anselmo met her at the 
door with a smile of welcome. That afternoon 
he spoke on the Seventh Commandment— "Thou 
shaltnot steal. " He grew more eloquent as he 
proceeded; his clear, ringing, musical voice filled 



■f 



flit 



178 



LIOHT BBVONU THK STARS. 



every one with nobler thoughts, nobler piirposes. 
Mrs. Grayson listened to every word that fell 
from his inspired lips; she was deeply interested. 
Yet she was sad. The kind priest's words had 
recalled in her memories of a past that was pain- 
ful to her, and on her way home that evening 
she could not help thinking of that New Year's 
evening, long ago, on which she herself had 
accused a poor, innocent girl of a theft of which 
she now knew she was innocent. Poor Gertrude I 
how she must have suffered. Oh, if she could 
only go to her now and throw herself at her feet 
and beg forgiveness— oh, then she could be 
happy; yes, happy as the day was long. But 
where was Gertrude Ferguson? Where could 
she find the poor girl she had wronged? Alast 
nobody seemed to have seen or heard anything 
about her in Evansville, and Mrs. Grayson had 
almost given her up as dead. 

That night she sank upon hei knees and kiss- 
ed the little crucifix which Gertrude had given 
her, and, in the fullness of her grief, gave vent 
to bitter tears. Then she lifted her eyes to 
Heaven and petitioned God to help her to find 
the blue-eyed girl she had v.Tonged. ' 'O merci- 
hil God," shepleaded, "sho'V me poor Gertrude's 
face, just once again!" Then she rose, and on 
the darkened horizon of her empty and desolate 
future a clear, bright ray of hope had suddenly 
beamed. 



"M 



Chaptbk III. 



Father Anaelino was very busy at St Vincent's 
but he loved work when it was done in the name 
of the Master. Often he would say: "No, I 
never weary of my work. I am only doing my 
duty as the humble priest — the shepherd of souls. 
I love to be near my children, to teach them the 
glorious paths of virtue, love and humility. The 
ways that lead to Heaven may be rough and 
thorny, but remember that behind those cruel 
and pie; dng thorns rosea are clustered — bright 
red roses— which will some day be twined into 
garland wreaths to crown your noble brows, 
when Death shall gently part the silver threads 
of life that hold you fast" 

The kind, gray-haired theologian and scholar 
was also overjoyed, for Easter was coming. 
Xext Sunday he himself would baptize seventy 
converts in dear old St. Vincent's. Mrs. Grayson 
was also one of the many who rejoiced, Ux on 
that day she too, was to be received into the 
bosom of the Church which she had learned to 
love so much. What would Jack say, if he only 
knew? But no. Jack was not to find out until 
she was a "real" Catholic— and then she would 
(179) 



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180 



LIGHT BBYOND THE STARS. 



write him a long letter herself and surprise him. 

She often thought of her poor boy and of the 
many hardships he had to endure on the 
distant battlefield, and her eyes wonld fill with 
tears. Then she would think of those happy days 

when he was but the little, golden-haired boy 

the idol of her womanly heart. How she had 
fondled him in her arms in those moments of 
happinessi But now he was far away from her, 
fighting bravely for his country. Cheering let- 
ters from Jack, howe\rer, filled her aching heart 
with hope. Not a day passed but Mrs. Grayson 
was seen in the crowds around the newspaper 
offices,- reading the bulletins that came fresh 
from the seat of war. They were like so 
many letters from home to her — for was 
not her heart, hei life, her boy out there, and 
might he not be a , .-tim of the cruel bullet at 
any moment? 

Only three days more and Baster, with its 
glorious hosannas of praise, would again awake 
the lonely world, robed for a short season in pen- 
itential garments, to visions of beauty and glad- 
ness. 

It was a beautiful afternoon. The sun was 
painting New York's lofty towers and buildings 
with golden gleams of light. The dty clock 
was just pointing the hour of three when the 
ambulance slowly drew up and stopped in front 



tIGHT BEYOND THK STARS. 181 

Of St. Josephs Hospital. The door was sudden- 
ly opened and the form of a dying woman was 
gently earned up the granite steps on a stretcher 
bysttong. willing hands. Mother Clotilde's kind 
faced whitened, as she turned her eyes to Dr. 
Steen, the ambulance surgeon. 
"An accident, I presume." she said, sadly 
How did it happen.'* * 'J 

The young doctor lowered his eyes and began 
and there was a tone of pity in his voice as he 
said; "The woman had been reading the bul- 
letin boards on one of the down town streets and 
just as she was turning the comer a west-bound 
car struck her and threw her into the air Will- 
ing hands carried her into a drug stor« near by 
It was there I found her in an unconscious con- 
dition, but in the ambulance she opened her eyes 
once and cried out feebly: 'My boy! my boy! 
Gertrude! where is she?' Then she was silent 
again, and in an instant her mind was a blank 
She opened her eyes widely and stared for a 
moment and then she closed them again. A few 
feet away from where she was lying they found 
this little prayer-book! It is blood-stained, and 
bears the following inscription: 'To Mre. Gray- 
son, from Father Anselmo. " ' 

Mother Clotilde took the little prayer-book in 
her hand, and the tears were creeping into her 
eyes as she said softly: • ' Poor woman! She is 



182 



LIGHT BBVOND THK STARS. 



very ill, and she will need all her strength to pull 
through. Sister Patricia will take charge of her, 
doctor, and we shall do all we can for the poor 
soul." 

In one of the large rooms in the ward upstairs 
Sister Patricia sat at the bedside of the poor, un- 
fortunate woman. A whole day had gone by 
and not a word had passed Mrs. Grayson's lips. 
Her face was growing paler and there was a look 
of deep suffering upon it. The good nun watch- 
ed her patient continually, and upon her lips 
there lingered the breath of many a tender pray- 
er. The face of the sick woman seemed so fam- 
iliar to Sister Patricia, but she could not place it, 
and, as she held the woman's thin hands in her 
own, she felt that they were getting wanner. A 
rosy flush was already creeping into the sickly, 
pallid face. Reaction was evidently being es- 
tablished, and the sweet-faced nun smiled gently. 

A moment later Mrs. Gra}rson opened her eyes 
half dreamily and stared into the face of the good 
Sister bending over her. "How my head pains 
me! Where am I? What has happened to me?" 
she asked, in a feeble, trembling voice. Sister 
Patricia whispered something to her; then she 
closed her eyes and drifted into a sound sleep 
which lasted some hours. 

When again Mrs. Grayson opened her eyes, 
Father Anselmo stood at her bedside. Her face 



Lir.HT BEYOND THE STARS. 



183 



was brighter and the talked considerably. "To- 
morrow, dear friend," said Father Anselmo, "is 
Easter Sunday— the day which both yourself and 
I were looking forward to with sanguine expect- 
ations. I regret very much that you will not be 
able to assist at St. Vincent's, but you will be 
quite happy here with the good nuns. I shall 
be here at eight in the morning and then I shall 
baptize you. Rest yourself now! I shall leave 
you in Sister Patricia's hands. I'm sure she will 
make you happy." 

When Father Anselmo rose to go, a few stray 
gleams of sunlight fell upon his noble face and 
brightened his snow-white locks. He raised his 
hand in blessing and made the sign of the Cross. 
An anxious smile stole over Mrs. Grayson's face. 
When he had gone. Sister Patrii . entered the 
room, with a brautiful bouquet of ijaster lilies in 
her hands. 

"Mother Clotilde has sent these up for you," 
she said kindly, as she put them into a vase on 
the table. The sick woman smiled her thanks, 
and her fingers moved nervously to a little cruci- 
fix that lay upon her breast. 

What a pretty crucifix you have there, dear, ' ' 
said Sister Patricia softly, as she walked over and 
loc ■ 'at it. Almost suddenly the color left her 
fac ., feeling of weakness came over her, and 
she sank down upon the bed. In an instant she 



>l\ 



■nI 



184 



tIGHT BKVOND THE STARS. 



I 



jwtson her feet «p,i„, and Mrs. Grayson asked 
n^^usly: "What is the matter. Sister? Ar. 

"No, dear. It is nothing," she replied. "I 
once had a crucifix like-But no! I must be 
^mmg/. Then she walked to the JSi<^ 
and opened ,t and sighed deeply. The city was 
h^ly with people, and a boyish, sweet tenor 
voice was ringing up from the noisy street. He 
was one of those little wandering minstrels, and 
h« musical accent w^ that of a son of sunny 
vine^adltaly. His pure notes rose and fell and 
melted into each other as he sang: 
"I^tna gather up the »nnbeainB, 

Lying all around our path; 
I/et us keep the wheat and ri>8e8, 

Casting out the thorns and chaff. 
Let us find our greatest comfort 

In the blessings of to-day. 
With a patient hand removing 
All the briars from the way." 
Sister Patricia could listen no longer, and 

heart throbbed with something that was akin to 
P«un. That song had recalled the dearest mem- 
«»es. and her thoughts went back to a New 

nw VZ^' ^'^^"'^ •" ** ^■^^''y haunts of her 
chenshed past. Presently, the lad struck up 
another sfram, and Mrs. Gray«>n listened eagerly 
to the Italian love-song. It was so patheticTand 



WGHT BKYOND THE STARS. I85 

mellow notes died aJay on Th^ H ^' ^ 
spoke cheering words S'^ter Patnan 

story of aU my^u„hapX S'e^lSl -*'* 

nused herself up in her hJ »n^ • *"* *^* 
"Tit«f t«^ P »n ner Ded and continued: 
just ten years ago last New V^r'. t * 
a poor girl ont of my honsTiJrt ' "*^ 

miles from here T fi, t * ***'*" "«"iy 

-d wonld ha^: doL tXX^h '"1°^ '"' 
very night I accnsed her^f^^j"^' }'^' *«* 
brooch. I susne^^i t "**^"» "X diamond 

HandlcerJii^Sg wT,Lfi„^- ' ''''^' « 
dressing-room." * '" "^^ P^vate 

"Handkerchief bearing her «=». I.. • 
Sister Patricia ^TT - . ^' *="«* o«t 

yes, went on Mrs. Grayson "R„f 1. • 

was hasty and wronir of „,-? ^ "' **'*■ « 

/ «uu wrong ot me to have acmsAri i.^ 
The poor eirl T t-„ , accused her. 



:iil 



186 



LIOHT BRVOND THR STARS. 



pawned the jewel to make up a shortage at the 
office that would have disgraced us both. But 
Jack ia a thrive boy now, fighting for his country. 
Yet, oh, I am so unhappy, for I feel that I must 
make amends to the poor girl I have wronged. 
I have searched in vain for her all these years, 
but God I am sure will some day — " 

' 'Lead you to her, ' ' interrupted Sister Patricia. 
"And he has done so. The longer I look into 
your searching eyes and the longer I listen to 
your story, the stronger grows the thought that 
I have at last met my old friend and benefactor 
— ^the dearest friend I had in all this world. 
Mrs. Grayson, is it really — O God be thanked a 
thousand times I" 

The sick woman opened her eyes widely; the 
siu^se had been too much for her, and almost 
wildly she stared into the pale little face under 
the black veil. Then she fell back upon the bed, 
weak and exhausted, murmuring: "Gertrude 
my child! Come to my arms; forgave me for au 
my— " 

The poor woman could not say another word. 
Sister Patricia kissed her cheeks tenderly and 
sank upon her knees. Together they wept tears 
of joy, while the Angelus was ringing a solemn 
peal of prayer over the roof-tops of the city rich 
in its twilight glory. 

Easter morning dawned with the chirping 



tlOHT BEYOND THR STARS. 187 

pine tree, that surrounded the hospital S 
Gmyson h.d rested well .11 nigh^Tshe^ 
Jriifc'^w""'' ' '"' »>•??'«« moment in'S^ 
n^^^-^^^y"'^""''"^- She had 
m«the g,rl she had wronged. Sister Patnda 
had forgiven her in her heart long yea« a^ 

lll^U:'^ ''LlL" '""^ Graysou'iZJonTn 
Sen ^' *^r«^* ^°«»« of forgivene^i had 

ly •-h^c«T.'?"; "°'''"°'" "he said kind- 
ly, how could I forget you. after all you had 

»»««d you both in my prayers. •• 
"And now. Sbter." began the happy woman. 

Kuei" y "'^'^ " '"^ '^ yo- Can y"u 
guess? Sister Patricia shook her head in the 

negative, and then she went on. '•wTpIa^ 

e «ht. This mormng he receives his large class 
of converts into the Church at St. WntT 
I am one of them-but I will not be th«^1S he 
««>m„g to hear my confession and ^^'m^^; 
first Holy Communion here. My first Holv 
Communioni Yes. but Sister, doyouSwttl^ 
something tells me it will also be iy iS^'^Sh 
I^am«. happy now. If Jack wJo^ h«| 

^^i'Carholi" ""'''^' '^^ mi-teslwillbea 
When she had finished. Sister Patricia took 



il 



..^i! 



1 1 

iii 



ISA 



LIGHT RRVOND TMR STARS. 



l\ 



I i' 



Hi 



her thin hands into hers and said, while 

glistened in her eyes: "Oh, I am also happyT 
My prayer has been answered. ' ' 

Mrs. Grayson was growing weaker, and the 
complications that the doctors bad di«aded were 
slowly setting in. A dark shadow crept into the 
gentle nun's face. 

The hospital clock struck eight, and Father 
Anselmo had ju.st baptized Mrs. Grayson. Then 
he heard her confession and administered the 
Sacraiaent of the dying. Sister Patricia and the 
renowned and brilliant theologian knelt at the 
bedside for fifteen minutes and prayed. Mrs. 
Grayson repeated all the prayers disHnrtly, and] 
when she raised herself slightiy to bless herself, 
there was a slight groan, followed by profuse 
bleeding from the mouth and nose. The fatal 
hemorrhage that the doctors had foreseen had 
taken place, and the end was nigh. 

The poor woman was sinking rapidly, and she 
was gradually lapsing into unconsciousness. 
She turned slightly and raised her finger and 
motioned Sister Patricia to her side. 

"I am dying. Oh, I am so happy. Pray for 
mel" she said faintly. Then she closed her 
eyes, and for the next half hour she was hover- 
ing on the brink of eternity. Just then there 
was a slight rap at the door. Mother Clotilde 
handed Father Anselmo a letter edged in black. 



mm 



WOHT BavoND THE STARS. IgQ 

It WM addressed to M-«. r>,» 

fniped "imporunt" "'''°"' "'"* *«» 

'^''tisTJ^t„'^"^T -" visibly ar- 
Then he hanSs^i ""T *'*' ''>'*"« ^°»»''- 

tion.the,o^si.er:;td^rd''^f;^:;rr 

D«A« Mas. Gmavsom- if j. 
Ion" you of your w^L 1 "? '**"'°' '"'"y »" «" 

l"t breath. .„d 2Ld LT °' ^" '^'°°*' "«" »•» 

knew hU. T.lm^'^~nn^'? '".f i*"^ ''^ '" '"•<' 

t«A«d. .nd on our tir^mi J u '^ ""^ """^ «" 
1« hour, and pr^^/n"- ^ '""««' him in hi. 

"frt*: "S«»ditto»^eT«dMT T'''"«' **"■ '"« 
•dforitall. Godera^tw^f "'""•""'•"'''on. 

^o it. gi^eS^.^'"-^^-^ -eday he^. 

Mr^ Grayson, that GoH -ill ^7 P"'' ""^ ^'" 

^^ "•inj, I aMure you of my hnmbje pmy. 

Voura in r-hrist, 
xm. o. Father McBaAov. 

,Thedyi„j:r,tp^^x*';es'rd •= Mtr- 



190 



LIGHT HKYMMI THK STARS. 



m 



ing to Heaven to meet my boy. ' ' Then a peace- 
ful smile stole over her face and in another 
instant her soul had flown heavenwards. 

Father Anselmo silently left the room and on 
his saintly old face there was a look of sadness. 

Sister Patricia kissed the little crucifix and de- 
termined to keep it always. Then she rose and 
walked to the window. The bells of the city 
churches were sounding their anthems of glad- 
ness far into the busy streets. '.Tie golden gates 
of the morning were open and the sun was throw- 
ing 'ais bright beams on the roof-tops of busy 
New York. Long she gazed upon that beautiful 
picture. Bverybody was glad; everything look- 
ed so cheerful. She alone was sad. Again she 
raised the little crucifix to her lips, and, while in 
her deep-blue eyes the tears slowly gathered, her 
heart was filled with gratitude— for her friends 
were enjoying the vision of God— the glory of the 
risen Saviour— the Light beyond the Stars. 



t 



THE PARTING OP THE WaVS. 

Cbaptrr I. 

The horse kicked impatiently airainst the 
wooden gate, then threw her head ZZ aij 
and hstened eagerly. Only a passing windd 
and rattled through th bon'y Sle^ ^S "cu 

«ll U "'f, »-"-«» -« evidl^tly S 
asleep Upon his face was stamped a look o 
w^^ and hi, breath came in'TnterrJ.TtL' 

valleys like angiy wolves-they were .^^ei,. 
^'nThrco',? "?'"• ^''«'>°-'-,ysh1^'^ 

T?en r.S!f "^"^ *'"' "^"P""* '" the sleigh. 
Then a shnll cry rang out into the frozen air- 
Nell was almost frozen-and suddenly ther« "L 
IT under the heavy blankets in the s eS arS 
two eyes opened to survey the surrounding it 

patting the horse gently, tarew back the gate 
that opened mto a narrow lane, leading toZ 
comfortable stebles beyond ^ '^' 

"Asleep againi- he muttered as he led the 
h«:seon. "Well! welll The last I knew I ^ 
dnvingoutofKenwickand here I aT ho^ 



m 



: }J 



m 



192 



THE PARTING OF THE WAVS. 



again. I must have been asleep over an hour." 
He had now reached the stable door and the 
horse turned her face gladly to his. " Ah , Nell I ' ' 
he said tenderly, as his hand stroked the lovely, 
jet-black mane, "you're a jewel. You always 
seem to know when your master sleeps and you 
jog along the lone country roads and always 
bring me home safely. I often think God must 
be having a hold of the lines. But you're a 
jewel, old Nell, and my heart's at rest when you 
are with me." An<^ again he petted her, as a 
mother would her child, and she stretched her 
head so lovingly to him and opened her eyes so 
widely that she seemed to understand it all. 

In a few minutes Nell was warmly housed and 
the man entered the house on the hill near-by. 
A little sign near the doorway bore the inscrip- 
tion: "Dr. Stewart Wilkins, Physician." It 
looked as if it were in its last days, this little 
sign. It was badly in need of a coat of paint, 
but what matter, since every child within a ra- 
dius of forty miles knew that the little house on 
the hill was the home of one of the kindliest 
souls in all the country-side. 

Dr. Wilkins had passed the half-century mark 
in life. For thirty years, he had administered to 
the good people of Plattsville and vicinity, and 
many a child at night did not close an eye be- 
fore asking God's blessing upon the man who 



TH« PASTING OP THB WAYS. IflS 

«W through storm and rain, day and ni^h, 

to take ,t down again, after waiting w^ly W 
he patients that would not materiLT^L !n 

K «!fr '"^'^ -'''««i«'^^^oLindln^j 
heart, and they tumedto him in a„ their affic 

But he was dying a martyr at the post of duty 

tj!^^ * '"^ '•*='' "^ <Jy»n«. no matter what 

r will come just as fast as Nell can cany mf" 

he would say and every one knew thaT^alwL 

kept h,s word. For days and days, he wS 

that his eyes grew weary on the road Tl,.-,^ 
years ago he had come here, fresh iom the SS 
of the umversity. the imprint of culture and^ 
finement upon his handsome featm^but ^ 
day he looked like an old man. kTSl hS 
ost rts elasticity, his spirit its buoyancy^nd hif 

h LS.i .. "^ '1^:;.'"^ *^«^ * Steel-gray but 
face. The years had really aged him p«ma. 



194 



THE PARTING OF THB WAYS. 



turely but, in his heart the younger feelings 
were creeping back. 

"I am growing younger," he said one night 
in the presence of friends. "Within still throb 
the heavenly feelings of long ago. Back from 
those happy days, alight with precious memo- 
ries, they come, the hot, glowing thoughts that 
bum and consume. Love opens my heart's door 
to them and they enter and dwell with me through 
the livelong day and befriend me in the long, 
white silences on i the far-stretching, country 
roads. Ah! I am contented — glad to be able to 
work amongst this poor, pitiful humanity." 



Chapter II. 

Wilkins was a bachelor. In the little !,««=- 
onthe hill the doctor dwelt in s^^^^tl^. 
the y^irs hadschooled him into a lover of souS 
and he was happiest when he was alone. A p,^ 
found student, he loved books and often hiVlS 
flickered through his study windows long after 
^^nudnight passed by. He wLt 
c^sant^y, for he was a poet and often poured out 
h«^ulm sweetest song. The doctor^oml his 
ve«^ away in a trusty volume and loved and 
giiarded them as zealously as a father would his 

w^tr." "^^"^^^^-^ Published them, he 
would have grown famous in a night and Platts- 

^lewouldha^ been advertised to the confines 
of the earth. But the doctor willed otherwise 
He was anxious to keep these lines from human 
eyes save his own. and he succeeded. Perhaps 
when he was gone, some one would discover the 
treasured manuscript andthen-well. then he 
wouldn't care. While he lived only God and 
himself should know. 7 ww and 

shouldkeepto himself his life's best work? 

"Selfishness!" I hear one say. Ah nol pZ 

(185) ^ ' 



I 



:; J: 




IM 



THB PARTING OF THB WAYS. 



mther. Do you know that Wilkins once loved 
and loved strongly. About his life lingera tiie 
memory of one of Love's saddest dramas and, 
perchance, his muse has wandered along these 
oft-frequented ways and he voices in his poems 
this great sorrow and writes for ns the bitter 
chapter of his heart's romance. 

Upon his jodc of manuscript was inscribed a 
name. From appearances one would judge that 
it had been done in ink years ago. "Madeline," 
it was called, this unpublished collection of verae, 
and the poet, himself, only knew what piercing 
thorns were hidden under so fascinating a name. 




Cbaptbk III. 
When Dr. Wilkins Srst came amongst the 

bnghtastheyaieaow. New roads w«^ ^~ 
^ed up forests w«. cut down aTpS 
btoken. Eveiything was waking from a^^ 
of profound lethargy. The people had n^^ 
known what it was to have a doctor I S 
Aidst and were jubilant. A school was so^n 

S? Z^" l'«'«y. Md. when the youn^ 

tT'^^. "^"^ *">"" °^ ^^ ti«ne each Z 
to teach the little ones in the old log ^h^f 

hoj^ the old ranklings ceased and ^r Ttim " 
«t least, all were satisfied. "How good of a,^ 
fadvT'? ^«y God bless him7.^ ^' ^J 

S;«^ir^.i ."**'^ ***'"«'»■ *^o ''hen he is 
through with them, " said another 

nie?7'iL*J^"'^'^"^^'*°'« ^"«~is Four- 
m^L l.r^?,'' '^'''"''* l^^berman. who had 

(197) 






m 



198 



THK PARTING OH THK WAVS. 



these occasions that Wilkins had first seen her. 
She was a beautiful girl, only in her teens then, 
but blessed with a simplicity of manner that 
made her a general favorite wherever she went. 
A few years passed and she returned — a matured 
Bachelor of Arts. 

Often of an evening, when the doctor grew 
weary of his narrow, little room, he would hitch 
up his horse and drive down to the Foumier 
home to discuss matters of common interest with 
Madeline. Biography, history, travel, poetry, 
science, art— all would be touched upon and 
Madeline would astonish the doctor by .her know- 
ledge and wonderful grasp of human affairs. He 
admired her intellectuality— it drew him like a 
magnet. But, in time, there was a "something 
else stealing into his heart and playing strange 
antics with him. Go where he might, there was 
the face of Madeline before him, young and 
beautiful as a saiit's, fresh and smiling as the 
morning. In his office, on the road, in the sick- 
chamber, in the very presence- of death, in joy 
and sorrow— there she rose before him, dimly, in 
clouds of mist, like a white angel of mercy— and 
he always felt the better for having seen her. 
Hetriedtofoigetherbuthecouldnot. She was 
uppermost in his mind through all the hours of 
his busy day. Thinking of her did not make 
him shirk his work. He did not grow careless, but 



THK PARTING OF THE WA\S. 



199 



work and Hie were a pleasure to him, now that 
they were radiant with the sunshine that stole 
from the eyes of MadeUne— his Madeline. Ahl 
not yetl If he could only tell her that he thought 
of her every minute of the day, that he often woke 
dunng the night calUng "Madelinel Madeline!" 
untU the lonely shadows shook their heads and 
mocked him and the vagrant breezes, outside, 
paused and listened and then laughed bitterly; 
if he could only tell her that he had worshipped 
her from the first day that he had seen her, that 
he loved her with all the love of his strong, man- 
ly heart and that he would be happy only when 
he could call her his wife— ah, then, his little 
world about Plattsville would be as near like 
heaven as he could ever wish it. Yes, he would 
tell her all. The next time his eyes met Made- 
line's she would know everything. 

One evening in June, there was a gentle rap at 
the surgery door and in walked Madeline, her 
cheeks aglow with excitement and her lips fram- 
ed into the sweetest of smiles. It was her first 
visit to the little house on the hill. The light 
from a lamp overhead fell tenderly upon her face 
and made it more beautiful. "Verily, she is an 
angel sent from paradise," thought he. 

"lam glad you came, Madeline," he said 
cheerily. "I have been thinking of you often 
these days." 



w 



'I 



aoo 



THE PAKTINO OF THB WAYS. 



The girt turned her head nervously, like a 
frightened bird, and her cheeka flushed crinuon. 
"Yon will no doubt wonder. Doctor, why I 
came," she at last began and her lips quivered. 
"You may, perhaps, think me presumptuous. If 
so, then forgive me. You are too busy for a man 
of your years. I see that you are kept working 
day and night. Your practice is increasing and 
you must not run yourself to death. I feel that 
you should be relieved of your work at the school. 
You have given your services gratuitously for 
nigh five years and I feel that I would like to re- 
lieve yon of this work. I spoke to father to^y 
and he is quite willing that I should teach. I 
feel that I want to do some good. God. expects 
me to use my telerts, and why should I not be 
permitted to do so right here in PlattsviUe amongst 
my own people. My services will be given free 
I do not mean to charge for them. You must 
not work so hard. It worries me. You simply 
must let me reUeve you, and then I will be 
happy." 

Wilkins was surprised, but the girl's earnest 
sentences pleased him. 

"You are a noble girl," he said after a mom- 
enf s hesitation, "and I thank you. But I don't 
aee how you should be expected to give up your 
freedom for my sake." 

"Freedom? What is it after all to a girl like 



THE PARTING OK THK WAYS. 201 

me Nothing but that vain, empty passing of 
precious moments without accomplisSng fnv 
thing ennobling in God's eyes. iLl^ltvT 

teach httle children to lead their thoughts to 

thehme. I don't want you to die soon. Nol 
nolJ^wantyoutoliv^Hve through long, happy 

Dr. Wilkins gazed into the far away and. for a 

St'l^r^ T" *"' "•'«'«' of 'her wZi' 
^en he began: "Since you are so kind then 
Made hne. you may commence your duties at th^ 
school tcvmorrow. Some day I will try to repay 
you for all this." Then he bit h^l « S 
«^nce stole in between them like a frien"; 2t 
drew them closer. The moonlight now fell in 
streams through the latticed winlow ^^i t 
o.»e precious and holy thoughts to bot^TnJ 
that evemng as the two walked jlong the iS 
m the direction of the Foumier ho'me they ^ 
ed that they would love each other alwajT 



I 



Chaptbx IV. 



A few short yean passed. "Doc" Wilkina, 
as the people called him, had grown in public 
fav r. Every one, save Madeline, called him 
"Uoc." She always called him "Doctor" in 
the presence of the villagers. "You worked for 
the title," she said, one evening as they walked 
to the gate, "and you deserve it. Stewart, why 
do you allow the people to call you 'Doc?' Why, 
in the city the physicians and surgeons do not 
like this aspersion at all. You must demand 
'Doctor.' Why, were I a physician, and in 
heaven to-night, and were any one to call me 
'Doc,' I'd simply leave the place. That's all I" 
and she snapped her little fingers as if she really 
meant what she said. , 

Stewart leyied upon the gate and laughed so 
heartily that the wooden boards fairly squeaked 
with alarm. Then he straightened up in all 
seriousness. "Why make a change and grow 
dignified now, Madeline? It would hurt their 
poor hearts were I to say anything to them and I 
do not want to hurt them. When they call me 
'Doc,' they feel that they are very close to me 
and I am close to them. It breaks down the 
(202) 



THB PARTINO OF THK WAYS. 



ao8 



barriers between us. I know what they mean, 
and why should I care? I know their love and 
devotion and I accept 'Doc' as the sweetest 
music that can ever come from their hearts. 
They are sincere, at least, and sincerity is verily 
a jewel, Madelinel I have grown so used to 
this sort of thing that whenever the t-o-r is add- 
ed I feel uncomfortable. Let them call me what 
they wish! I am always their friend. 'Doc' is 
good enough for me if they are satisfied. " 

"Doctor," of course, would have been more 
professional, more ethical, but, after all, Wilkins 
did a wise thing by letting things stand as they 
were. He had all Plattsville and vicinity at his 
knees— one word to hurt them, from his lips, 
would have driven them away forever. It was 
this sympathy, this humility that tightened the 
iron chains about the doctor and his people. 

In time, it was rumored that Wilkins would 
soon take unto himself a helpmate. In the 
Foumier home, there was general rejoiciug. 
Madeline would soon be Mrs. (Dr.) Wilkins and 
all the old gossips of the village were busy wag- 
ging their tongues. It was the general topic 
for discussion on market days. At the county 
fair, a few weeks previous, Madeline had been 
the cynosure of hundreds of eyes. In the post- 
office, in the grocery store, in the blacksmith 
.shop— everywhere, the men and women talked 
and argued and gibbered. 



ao4 



TMK PABTINO Or TM« WAYS. 



It wanted but a d«y and then the wedding 
would be « thing of the put. On the morrow, 
the happy event was to take place. Madeline, 
exhausted on account of the many pteparationa,' 
retired early. By ten o'clock the Pournier'a 
were all asleep. 

Through a cellar window a pale Ught stiU flick- 
ered. BateeseUtonr, the trusty butler, had only 
a few littie things to do, and then he would creep 
away to rest. Before leaving the cellar, however, 
he drained several ^uks of rich Burgundy wine. 
Later, he set the burning coal-oil lamp out into 
the hall and, singing an old French voyageur's 
song, reeled and stumbled into his room. 

One of the hall windows was wide open, a 
heavy wind was blowing^-and two hours later 
the Foumier mansion was in flames. Men, wo- 
men and children fought the fire Uke Trojans, 
but without avail. Mr. and Mrs Foumier were 
safe, but Madeline could not be found. 

For fully half an hour, the men had searched 
in vain. Presently, there was a faint cry, like 
one calling for help afar off. All ran in the di- 
rection of the voice. Stewart Wilkins, white as 
death, was in the very front. He pressed on in 
anguish, closer and closer to the burning build- 
ing. He saw a little, thin hand struggling 
thiough the smoke. Like a madman, he dashed 
into the seething flames and was lost in clouds of 



THK PAKTINO or THK WAYB. 



206 



■moke. The heavy timben swayed and cracked 
overhead. In a aecond they would come crash- 
ing down and all would be over. 

Presently, Wilkins stumbled oack through the 
fire and smoke, holding Madeline in bis strong 
arms as he made for the outer air. The girl was 
unconscious and badly burned, and Wilkins 
fought on, wild and distracted with grief. When 
he reached the open, he could go no farther and 
sank down and wept like a child. Bateeae was 
almost beside himself. A glance at the sufieiing 
girl's expressive face overpowned him, and he 
threw himself to the ground and sobbed as if his 
heart would break. "O Godl fctgivel" he 
groaned, "I am to blame—" And, mingled 
with his threnody came the sound of Wilkins' 
wild, touching heart-cry: "Madeline! my M»J 
elinel Speak, Ospeak just one word nd then—" 
But the falling of timber and the roaring of fire 
alone filled his ears. 



if 



P 
lit 



' ll 



Chapter V. 

r.Jt ^l^^ -^""^ ^"^ ^""^'^ "Pon the green mead- 
m the branches of the trees and the warm breez^ 
staling upward from the pleasant river. cr^nS 
1u^ab,es through the beautiful, languidTfTe^ 
noon. It was one of those delightful days that 
steal very close to on.'s heart and send the blocS 
bounding through one's veins-a day of sunsW^ 
and music into which could be crowded all tJe 

oS^nTer", 'T "'-'"^'^ "'" ^'^^ "^^^ ^-g 
mZ k J^VP"^° ^'^ ^-'J «ver, living 
thing, b,rd and beast, flower and tree. SroS 
and exulted in the vital forces of quickenlTlS^ 
The sun looked through the lalcove^^^t 
tZ^ !?T *"•' ^""^ ^ood-natur^^JT^. 
pressed and pleased with the lordliness of eve,^ 
thing out-of-doors. ^ 

yea^rs'^'tt sj" "' ''^'^ "^ '" '""^ '^ ^ 
l^' ! ^ """^ P*^*^"* ^'"^ trusted in the 
goodness of One. Whose home was beyonJthe 
blue skies and the pale stars. 

The sunbeams stole into her nwm through the 
qu^nt. narrow windows and threw ^^l 
shadows on the walls, and Madeline's eJL 3^ 
(206) 



THE PARTING OF THR WAYS. 



207 



ered over the green fields and meadows through 
which she had often roamed in her childhood's 
days, and along the shining river path to far be- 
yond the distant, l>)'.ie mountains. 

Presently the sound of the village school bell 
in the distance floated over the meadow Its 
music awakened old memories. Madeline tossed 
about nervously and tears came to her eyes It 
was the first time she had wept in yeare. "she 
was a brave girl (a coward never yet shed tears) 

heart '''°°^' ^"^"^ ^^^ '^'^^" ^^'^^^ °* ^^'' 

The clatter of hoofs was heard. Nearer and 
nearer came the sound and a look of anguish 
crept into the girf's blue eyes. A shadow 
glided pa^t the window, I„ an instant the rider 
was on his feet. It was Dr. Wilkins just return- 
ing from a call over the hills. 

"And how is my little giri to-day?" he asked, 
happily, as hurriedly he brushed into the room 
with a look of intense joy upon his noble face ' 
"Fine! StewartI Isn't this a beautiful dayl 
How I would love to be out with the birds and 
the flowers! But no! I am satisfied with these 
four walls and my little bed. My little kingdom. 

dreams through the busy day. I often think un- 
til I grow tired, and then sometimes I lie asleep 



H'l 



if 



! 



208 



X 



THB PARTING OF THB WAYS. 



Just then the old familiar school-bell sounded 
its last peal and a feeling of pain stole into Mad- 
eline's heart. It revealed itself upon her girl- 
ish face, but Stewart did not notice the shadow 
that came and went so silently. A sigh, yet 
another, burst from her lips and it went, like an 
arrow, through Stewart's hiiaxt. 

"Stewartl" at last came from Madeline's lips 
— but she could go no farther. 
"Yes, my dear; what is it?" 
Two thin, pale fingers then toyed nervously 
through the pages of an old copy of Longfellow 
on the bed. Madeline was not herself at all- 
something was gnawing deep down in her heart 
"Stewartl I pity you," she at last began. 
"You are so good, so noble, so manly and I — O 
what am I now but a weak, deformed little thing. 
You are so beautiful, and I, oh, I am hideous, 
nothing but a cripple. I thought you would for- 
get me long before now. I prayed that you 
would forget. But you will, yon must forget me, 
Stewart, for my sake and for your sake, won't 
you? It can never be— this marriage to which 
we had nailed our loves, and you must let your 
thoughts wander down pleasanter lanes. Open 
the door of your little heart's room and banish 
me from it forever! Take down the pictures of 
olden memoriesi They haunt you, they cry at 
you with uplifted hands. 'It can never be' 



X 



THB PARTING OP THE WAYS. 209 

the strange, sad voices are speaking. Bven now 
I can hear them. " ' 

"Ahl Madeline, do not speak the cruel wordi 
Ut me only love and wait! My heaven will 
never be complete without the radiance of you— 
sweet, iTuiding star"-and he pressed her little 
hand .a his and softly raised it to his lips 
"Madeline," he spoke softly, "you must noi 
speak so. I ^nnot forget you. Without you. 
my heart will be but an empty cage. " 

"Better that your heart were an empty cage 
Stewart, than to have it hold a bird whose voic^ 
has stopped singing and whose wings are broken 
Stewart, were I to add my life to yours, how 
would you be benefitted? It would be wrong 
How could I help you? I cannot even walk- 
yet for your sake I am willing to suffer this all 
Forget me, Stewart! Shatter the idol of your 
heart, God will give you another! You need the 
support of a strong woman's arm, you need the 
care, the devotion of a loving, helpful wife, able 
and willing to go from one end of the world to 
the other, through fire and flood for her husband's 
sake." 

Stewart sat at the bedside, silent and troubled 
drinking in every burning word, and through 
his heart ebbed and flowed even a stronger a 
mightier love for the poor, little cripple, wh^ 
open avowal had much of honesty and philos- 



210 



THE PARTING OP THE WAYS. 



ophy in it. The color had left his cheeks. Just 
now he was fighting the hardest battle of his life. 

"You look troabled, Stewart. You must not 
worry — " Themusicof Madeline's girlish voice 
startled him. "I will be happier to know that 
another will share your love and home. But I 
will not foiget yo;i. My love for you wiJl con- 
tinue beyond the giave. But, Stewart, you must 
— you will try to forget I Throw me away as a 
child would its playthingi Let me lie there alone 
on life's road and, when I shall hear that you 
have forgotten me, I will be satisfied to pass this 
life in sweet companionship with the sun and 
mooa and stars and the Father, Who shelters in 
His care the sickly fledglings of humanity. " 

Silence, deep and solemn, filled the little room. 
Troubled hearts always love solitude, and now 
the soft-eyed messenger was doubly welcome jto 
both. Madeline stirred slightly in her bed, the 
volume of Longfellow slid to the floor and the 
silence was broken. 

Stewart raised his eyes to hers. The gleams 
of the setting sun threw a halo about her golden 
hair. "Thou, poor, little, white angel," he 
thought to himgelf , as his eyes rested upon the 
picture that Love had painted on his heart. 
Then, in word3 that she alone heard, he whisp- 
ered: "Madeline, it is hard, but I will try to 
forget" — and the two wept together. 



THE PARTING OF THE WAYS. 211 

It was a great sacrifice for both. And he went 
out into the g«at. giay presence of the world tiy. 
ng to forget the little angel whose finge« had 
Jun so heavily on his heart; while shTpoor 
faul loving thing, moved from her bed to herin. 
valid chair and from her chair to her bed. through 
long.patientyeais. with the golden cross of su^- 

^Lrthint''"^**'''"'"'^*--^-^-. 



Chaitbr VI. 

I^ us draw a curtain over all the long years 
that followed. Dr. Wilkins had tried to forget 
the little drama of those early years, but it clung 
to him always, and Madeline, poor Madeline, 
was ever uppermost in his mind. To-day she 
was still alive, standing between him and the 
future he dared not think of. Her father was 
dead, but her aged mother lived with her in the 
little cottage down by the pine grove. Bateese 
Latour also made his home with them, and did 
all in his power to make their lives comfortable. 

Dr. Wilkins often dropped in to see Madeline. 
She was well up in years now, and spoke slowly 
and somewhat nervously. Her hair was turning 
gray, and she was thin and pale. The same 
quaint windows looked out upon the fields anl 
the mountains. The same little bed stood in the 
comer, and the same little cripple (much chang- 
ed however) was prisoner within the same four, 
bare walls. 

When the two met, however, they never spoke 
of those early days, and of the sorrow and suffer- 
ing that clung to them. The past was sacied 
ground. But somrthing seemed always to draw 
(212) 



THB PARTING OF THK WA S. 



213 



w!!!'^ '***'•"• At^i though. unconaciou8- 
b^ Wilkins was still the lover he controlled his 
fcdjngs so carefully that Madeline never knew 
but that the past was a shadow that had shifted 
out of his sky forever. Outwardly he seemed 
the picturt: of perfect happiness; inwardly, his 
soul was tossed about by this wild, deep ocean of 
1^ .. ^" presence he acted his part well 
Ais noble, fighting soldier of humanity; but i,i 
Je eyes of God he stood in his true Ught, and 
doubtless there was much of pity felt for him in 
heaven. 



Cbaptkr vri. 

All morning people had come to the doctor's 
suigery. The anxious feet had worn a deep path 
through the snow from the road to his door 
For a moment the men and women paused, then 

.w i?'^^'"* "^^^ "P *'»« «peaking-tube, 
that led into the doctoi-'s sleeping room upstain.. 

But no answer came and, disappointed, they drove 

away. "Doc. Wilkins must have gone out on a 

case in the night and hadn't probably returned ' ' 

was what the blacksmith said, and this is what 

he told every one passing the smithy that day 

With the afternoon the same persons waited and 

knocked and called at the doctor's door. But no 

voice came from within to give a sign of hope 

and with heavy hearts they returned to their 

sick-beds, where suffering ones waited and lonir- 

ed for the sound of Nell's hoofs on the icy roads 

Wis** '"""'" ""**'*' "' '**'■ J'"^""8 *'«>Kh- 

Night came with her cold winds and lonely 
shadows. No light shone from the doctor's study 
but m the room upstairs there was the sound of 
heavy, rapid breathing. 

Upon his bed lay Dr. Wilkins, just as he had 
(214) 



THK PARTING OK THK WAYS. 



216 



come m from h.s call, the night before, when he 
had fallen a«leep m his sleigh and Nell had 
brought him home safely. The heavy blanket 
with which he had been covered had fallen to 
the floor He seemed fast wJeep. but it was a 
strange sleep, interspersed with twitches and ner- 
vous startmgs. His face was red and feverish: 
riowly. he turned, and afit of coughing came on 
which woke him. His eyes opened-but they 
had a strange, faraway look in them. He seem- 
ed dazed, and he looked strangely about the room 
as If he were lost. Just then, the door-bell down- 
stairs sounded loudly. It was like a cry of 
agony in the startled night-ringing high above 
the noises of the angry wimU that swept through 
the naked trees. 

He raised himself on his bed and. holding his 
forehead, listened eagerly. Again the bell rang 
and the voice of a child sounded through the 
room: 

"Mother is sick. Come quick. Doctor!" 
It was lt'.:le Mary Malone. the blacksmith's 
daughter, and he voice was choked with tears 
Presently Wilkins came to his senses. He jump^ 
ed to the floor and made for the speaking-tube 
not many steps away. A violent pain pierced 
his side. Everything about him swam before 
his eyes, and he staggered and fell to the floor 
just as his fingers were about to clutch the speak- 



216 



THK PAKTINO OK THB WAYS. 



mg-tube on the wall. Almost instantly his 
mind beame a blank, and he muttered rtrange 

words and strangesentencesthat no one could ever 
have undenrtood. And for some time he lay 
there turning and throwing himself trom side to 
Mde. The poor man, from exposure to cold and 
from overwork, had developed pneumonia. Just 

w^'J!!,''" ***"'"« •" *•** ^"^y of delirium. 
He tried to raise himself to his feet, but the pain 
m his side would master him and pull him down 
like a child. Slowly and gradually he quieted 
down and fell into a peaceful sleep which lasted 
some hours. 

Again, the door-bell sounded downstoira. 
Bateese Latour was at the speaking-tube this 
time. ^^ 

"Madeline Foumier is dying," hecried. "She 
wanteyou. Doctor! for God's sake, come at 
oncel" 

The sound of the bell had startled the sick 
man "Madeline Fonmier-dying-"shrieked 
Wilkins. "Am I dreaming-O God-" and, on 
hands and knees, he crept over to the tube and 
sent down the message: "I will come at once. 
Get Nell out J her stable, Bateese. and hitch her 
upl Just then he had an awful coughing speU 
which almost prostrated him. He felt wretched 
but his mind was a little clearer. The thought 
of what he was about to do nerved him for the 



TH8 PARTING or THB VAVr. 



217 



Jed. With mm difficulty, he toks to his feet 
Newattengthcametohim. He walked over to 
the Uble, struck a match, and lit the tallow can- 
d^e standing near. Then his eyes wandered to 
the unfinished manuscripts labelled "Madeline " 
which lay before him. All the yean of his life 
were imprisoned in that grand, beautiful, classical 
poon. Slowly and nervously, his fingers ran 
over the written copy until a sigh escaped his 
lips. Thrt he donned his heavy, sealskin coat. 
I am afraid the last chapter of ' Madeline' will 
dose this night," he muttered sadly. He seem- 
edto know-and his eyes had tean in them. 
Down the old, creaking staiis hi went, littie 
realizing what a sick man he was, his whole 
mind upon Madeline— his Madeline. 

"Ride on ahead of me. Bateese. with your 
horsel he said breathlessly, as he c!imb-d into 
the sleigh. A litUe groan of suffering escaped 
him, and Nell turned her head and looked nerv- 
ously. Then she tossed her head into the air. 
Go on, Nellf I leave it to you to-night,' was 
all he said, and her hoofs sank into the icy road 
and she was off like a shot. 

Dr. Wilkins reached the Foumier home in 
good time. Every window threw out a welcome 
blaze of light, and. when the sound of Nell's 
hoofs beat upon the icy road, the door flew open 
wide and M .. Foumier, poor, old woman, stood 



ii8 



THB rARTINO Or THB WAV!. 



e^IyawtitingWii. In the door-wmy. light in 

ul".^!!^V''* ^ '* M^leline't b«l.ide. 
Ufc^ ita b«< . hung merely by . thrwMi but the 
recognited him and amUed nraedy. "I «m lo 
«l«dyou«me. Stewm." die Mid dowly. .„d 
then doMd her tired eyea. 

body riiook visibly. , Almort unconadoudy 
through dire weekneM. he .uik into the chmr .1 
W. «de Hi. h«Ml ««ght M^leline'.. The 
•t«nge look again came to his eyes and, for a 
mo«eat. the old love crept between them and 
m^e them happy, it was the sweetest n.oment 
ootn had ever tasted. 

"I«^ £aint-Oood-bye motherl— Bateese'" 
came in faint, trembling voice. "Stewart- 
good-byel" 

Thesick man bent over the little 'orm. "Have 
courage Madeline," he whispered, "I will meet 
you at the parting of the ways. " 
^ Her eyes opened widely and she nodded her 
»d sweetly, and then her eyes closed. In 
anodier moment. Dr. Wilkins staggered out in- 
to the night and made for his horse. "ThepaK 
^ the last ch.pt« of 'Madeline- is open bZI 

The white Footpath of Peace'-what a beauti- 
fnU, soul-satisfymgtiUe. O God, I thank Thee!" 



TH« PAKTINO or THB WAYS. 



ai9 



Barly next morning Nell waited long at the 
atable-door and kicked her hoofs impatienuy into 
the anow. She toaacd her head from aide to aide 
and cried pitifully, but there was no atir in the 
aleigh behind this time. Her master did not 
hear her pleading voice. His eyes were closed 
in peaceful sleep, and on his face the smile ling- 
ered that came when all suffering was over. 

He had gone to meet his Madeline at the part- 
ing of the ways.